Pearl Jam have taken the decision to cancel the first leg of their U.S. tour due to the health risks surrounding the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
The band were due to tour their new album Gigaton, this month but health safety precautions have put a stop to it. With the tour planned to begin on March 18th at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, the band have been advised to postpone the dates.
“We’ve worked hard with all our management and business associates to find other solutions or options but the levels of risk to our audience and their communities is simply too high for our comfort level,” the band wrote in a statement. “Add to that we also have a unique group of passionate fans who travel far and wide. We’ve always been humbled by this and respect their energies and devotion. However in this case, travel is something to avoid.”
“It certainly hasn’t helped that there’s been no clear messages from our government regarding people’s safety and our ability to go to work,” they continued. “Having no examples of our national health department’s ability to get ahead of this, we have no reason to believe that it will be under control in the coming weeks ahead.”
While North America begins to take the outbreak more seriously—following the cancellation of SXSW Festival and the impending postponement of Coachella—Pearl Jam’s summer European dates appear to still be planned to go ahead. That said, those dates will amost likely be postponed at later date.
Pearl Jame continued: “Again, here in Seattle what we are witnessing we would not wish for anyone. What we do wish for the rest of the country is that they can avoid the harsh negative effects of this and retain their sense of community and take care of one another.
“Just as we look forward to our next concerts and the ability to gather together and play loud songs as energized as ever. We are so sorry… And deeply upset… If anyone out there feels the same based on this news, we share that emotion with you.”
The ongoing epidemic of coronavirus disease was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei in China. 9 March 2020, over 114,000 cases have been confirmed, of which 7,100 were classified as serious.
With more than 4,000 people having died from the virus, most of which have come in different provinces of China, coronavirus has now spread to 110 other countries—including mainland Europe, South America and North America. Health advisors have warned that the virus spreads easily between people in a similar way to influenza, via respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing, which is why large events are being cancelled or postponed.