Pearl Jam Postpones First Leg of Tour and Calls Out Trump Administration Amid Coronavirus Concerns
"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," the band said in a statement on Twitter
In a lengthy, multi-tweet statement on Twitter, the band — including frontman Eddie Vedder — said that they are frustrated and sorry about the decision, but believe it is in the best interest of their fans.
“As residents of the city of Seattle, we’ve been hit hard and have witnessed firsthand how quickly these disastrous situations can escalate. Our kids’ schools have closed along with universities and businesses. It’s been brutal and it’s gonna get worse before it gets better. So we are being told that being part of large gatherings is high on the list of things to avoid as this global health crisis is now beginning to affect all of our lives,” the band said in their statement.
“Unfortunately, communing in large groups is a huge part of what we do as a band and the tour we’ve been busy planning for months is now in jeopardy… We have and will always keep the safety and well-being of our supporters as top priority.”
“So it is with deep frustration and regret that we are forced to make this most unfortunate of announcements,” the band stated. “This scheduled first leg of our PJ/Gigaton tour will need to be postponed and shows rescheduled for a later date.
The tour was meant to kick off on March 18 in Ontario, Canada, followed by more cities in Canada before locations in the U.S.
“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,” they said. “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.”
The statement then called out the Trump administration for its lack of leadership amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.
“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,” the rock band said. “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.”
The band’s statement concluded by saying its members would not wish what they are witnessing in Seattle 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,” they said. “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. – Ed & Pearl Jam.”
The Centers for Disease Control has said that the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the U.S. is still “low,” but advises people to plan for a “significant disruption to their lives” as the number of cases continue to rise.
The CDC also says that the best way to prevent the virus are basic forms of hygiene, including careful hand washing, avoiding touching the face, moving away from people who are coughing or sneezing and staying home at signs of illness.