Blackberry Smoke Cancel Show, Halt Tour After Member Tests Positive for Covid
UPDATE (8/12): Blackberry Smoke have canceled more concert appearances after a member of the Southern rock band tested positive for Covid-19. The group’s show in Baltimore on Thursday is now canceled, according to a post on Blackberry Smoke’s Instagram. “We hope everyone remains safe and we appreciate your understanding through this process,” they wrote.
The band also announced rescheduled dates: the August 13th gig at the Stone Pony Summer Stage in New Jersey is moved to August 29th; the August 15th show in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been bumped to August 22nd; and a show set for Portsmouth, Virginia, will now happen on October 15th.
Blackberry Smoke canceled their Tuesday night concert in Jacksonville, Florida, after guitar player Paul Jackson tested positive for Covid-19. The Southern rock band was just seven dates into their Spirit of the South Tour.
“Unfortunately we are unable to continue with tonight’s Spirit of the South Show,” the band wrote on Instagram. “Paul Jackson reported feeling symptoms of Covid 19, was tested immediately, and found to be positive. In order to ensure the safety of the rest of the band, crew, staff, and fans, we need to immediately halt the tour.”
The Spirit of the South Tour includes the Wild Feathers and the Allman Betts Band, and both bands had already played their sets when Blackberry Smoke were forced to cancel.
“We will let everyone know within 24-48 hours about refunds or rescheduled dates for tonight’s show and any others that will be affected,” the band wrote. “We will absolutely keep you all informed as those decisions are made.” The Spirit of the South Tour is set to play Baltimore on Thursday. It’s unclear if that show will proceed.
Blackberry Smoke is just the latest touring band to encounter Covid. Foo Fighters, Fall Out Boy, Counting Crows, Limp Bizkit, Sebastian Bach, Tesla, and Lynyrd Skynyrd all had their tours affected by the surging Delta variant. New Orleans Jazz Fest announced it was cancelling its planned October return, and on Tuesday the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam postponed its September installment to 2022.
Some artists and festivals are now requiring proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test so they can proceed with performances. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit will only play under that policy and canceled a Wednesday show in Houston after the venue “was not willing to comply with the band’s updated Health and Safety standards,” according to a statement by Isbell’s label. On Tuesday, the upcoming Bonnaroo festival announced it would institute a proof-of-vaccination or negative test policy.
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