Dead and Company Cancels Playing in the Sand Festival Entirely Following John Mayers Exit
The group Dead and Company announced Thursday that its Playing in the Sand festival, slated to begin Friday in Cancun, has been canceled entirely. The move comes just a day after it was announced that frontman John Mayer was pulling out of the first weekend due to his testing positive for COVID-19 on the eve of departing for Mexico.
CID Presents will be contacting passholders directly about refunds. Many of the passholders who bought packages that included hotel stays and airfare are already in Mexico or on their way today.
“With much sadness and after great consideration of every possible scenario, the Playing in the Sand shows in Riviera Cancun on January 7-10 and January 13-16 have now been canceled by CID Presents due to the spiking COVID-19 cases,” read the announcement. “Dead & Company and CID Presents tried everything possible to bring normalcy and to deliver a great experience and amazing music, but with each day it became increasingly clear that canceling is the correct thing to do for the fans and for our crew. Please refer to the Playing in the Sand email that will be sent shortly with all details about refunds. See you soon, hug your loved ones, stay safe and be kind.”
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On Wednesday, Mayer’s exit had been announced on social media, although it was only declared that he would not be participating in the first weekend, leaving open the possibility that he might be cleared to perform in the second half of the two-weekend festival. That announcement tried to find a silver lining in Mayer’s absence, promising that the lineup change for the Grateful Dead spinoff group would result in set lists with more rarely revived material.
Mayer was the second Dead and Company member to have bowed out of the shows. Earlier, drummer Bill Kreutztmann had announced he would not be making the festival, either, citing a doctor’s advice. Kreutztmann had recently acknowledged health issues after exiting a fall Hollywood Bowl concert midway through the show.
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