Rachel McGrathThu, 4 March 2021, 5:01 pm
Ian Brown has pulled out of a music festival following claims attendees will have to provide proof they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Stone Roses frontman was due to headline Neighbourhood Weekender in Warrington, Cheshire, with organisers announcing this week that the three-day event has been moved from May to September.
However, Brown – who has frequently come under fire for his criticism of coronavirus prevention measures – told his Twitter followers that he will not be performing.
He wrote: “My Saturday night headline show at NHBD Weekender Festival will now not happen! I refuse to accept vaccination proof as condition of entry. Refunds are available! X” [sic]https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1367173085980418055&lang=en-gb&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fuk.yahoo.com%2Fnews%2Fian-brown-covid-vaccine-neighbourhood-weekender-170112721.html&theme=light&widgetsVersion=e1ffbdb%3A1614796141937&width=550px
Brown has subsequently been replaced by Manchester group James.
Meanwhile, Neighbourhood Weekender organisers have clarified that while they will “comply with conditions laid out by the government”, a decision on whether festival-goers will need vaccine passports is yet to be made.
“We are working with other festival organisers and look forward to a safe return to open-air events this summer,” they add in a statement posted on Twitter.
Other acts performing include Catfish And The Bottlemen, Sam Fender and The Wombats.
Last year, Brown shared numerous Twitter posts which included COVID-19 conspiracy theories and misinformation.
In September, he claimed the “pandemic [was] planned, designed and executed to make us digital slaves” and even released an anti-lockdown song.
Neighbourhood Weekender is one of a number of events that look set to go ahead this summer, following Boris Johnson’s announcement on how the government plans to lift lockdown.
Speaking last month, Johnson said he hopes most measures will be lifted by 21 June. Just days later, Festival Republic confirmed Reading and Leeds will return this August Bank Holiday weekend and it didn’t take long for the remaining tickets to sell out.
Unfortunately, the news and dates come too late for some much-loved events, with Glastonbury and Download among those which have been cancelled for a second year running.