A volcanic eruption that occurred under an Icelandic glacier on Wednesday, April 14th, has set off a series of unforeseen events that might force a few Britain-based artists scheduled to perform at this weekend’s Coachella festival to cancel their slots. The Cribs with Johnny Marr, Bernard Sumner’s Bad Lieutenant and Gary Numan are just a few of the bands affected by the volcanic ash that lingers in the skies above Europe, all but shutting down all air travel out of the continent, Billboard.biz reports.
The Cribs have already canceled their Coachella performance that was scheduled for tonight, saying in a statement, “Unfortunately, despite a Herculean effort we won’t be able to play at Coachella this year. We are pretty gutted to be frank, currently languishing in the grimmest ferry port after waiting for good news about free airspace that never came.” Numan, who is slotted to perform Sunday, was pessimistic about his chances of making it to Indio on time. “At the moment the very best British Airways are offering us, and this without any guarantee, is to put us on a Sunday flight that gets in to Los Angeles in the afternoon on Sunday,” Numan wrote on his official site. “That is one step away from useless and means that, if we are very lucky, we might just make it to the festival site (a three hour plus drive from Los Angeles) in time for our slot but without a single second of rehearsal.”
So far, nearly 17,000 flights out of Europe have been canceled as a result of the volcanic ash. According to CNN, the ash doesn’t affect the pilots’ visibility as much as it presents an actual danger to the aircraft itself, because the ash can cause jet engines to shut down. London’s Heathrow Airport was keeping planes docked until at least 1 a.m. (8 p.m. EST) Saturday morning, though flights out of Northern Ireland and Scotland were being allowed. Luckily, many of the big name British acts — Thom Yorke, Hot Chip and headliners Muse and Gorillaz — already ventured to the States prior to the volcano’s eruption and will make their Coachella sets.
For more on Coachella, including reports on all the biggest sets, stick with Rollingstone.com this weekend for our full coverage.