Singer Richard Ashcroft cancels UK festival appearance owing to Covid-19 safety measures

Former frontman of The Verve refuses to play concerts 'with restrictions'

Singer-songwriter Richard Ashcroft will be a no-show at the UK's Victorious Festival in August, citing Covid-19 safety measures put in place by organisers.

The former frontman of Britpop band The Verve was due to perform at the festival, taking place in the coastal city of Portsmouth from August 27 to August 29.

Other artists on the bill include Nile Rodgers with funk group Chic, RnB singer Craig David and rockers Royal Blood, The Kooks and Feeder.

The event announced Ashcroft's withdrawal on Instagram on Friday.

"Following extensive discussions about the measures we have put in place to reduce the risk for visitors, artists and workers at this year's festival, Richard Ashcroft will no longer perform at the event," read the post.

"We will announce a replacement shortly."

While unclear which elements of the restrictions the Bitter Sweet Symphony singer found contentious, the festival listed the safety measures on its website.

They include proof of a Covid-19 negative status upon entry, taken prior to the day of arrival and proof of full vaccination with the second dose received at least 14 days prior to arrival to the festival.

Ashcroft's withdrawal from Victorious Festival follows his removal from Sheffield’s Tramlines Festival for similar reasons.

"I had informed my agent months ago I wouldn't be playing concerts with restriction," he explained on Instagram regarding Tramlines Festival.

“The status of the festival was one thing when I signed up for it, but, sadly was forced to become something else."

Ashcroft is not the only UK artist taking a hard line against event organisers.

In July, Eric Clapton announced he will not perform in UK venues requiring proof of vaccination for entry.

This was in response to moves by UK authorities to encourage venue operators to use the NHS's Covid Pass to allow guests entry.

The online pass indicates if a person is fully vaccinated and the dates of their recent Covid-19 tests.

"I wish to say that I will not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present," Clapton said.

"Unless there is provision made for all people to attend, I reserve the right to cancel the show."

The news does not currently threaten his two concerts in London scheduled for next year.

Clapton is due to play at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8, 2022, and for the time being, the venue does not require proof of vaccination for entry.

Tickets for both shows remain on sale online.

Updated: August 7th 2021, 10:58 AM
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