The Verve’s Richard Ashcroft Pulls Out of UK Festival Over COVID-19 Restrictions

Ex-Verve member told organizers he wouldn't play if they were part of the government's Events Research Programme.

Richard Ashcroft, photo courtesy of artists
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Richard Ashcroft has informed fans that he’s pulled out of his scheduled appearance at the UK’s Tramlines Festival because of the event’s government imposed COVID-19 restrictions.

Tramlines announced last week that the full-capacity event, set for July 23rd-25th would be part of England’s Events Research Programme. That means the fest will be under certain restrictions to help the UK government test the safety of returning to full-scale events. Ashcroft is apparently not down with that, as the former Verve rocker has a standing “no ERP events” policy.

“I had informed my agent months ago I wouldn’t be playing concerts with restrictions,” Ashcroft wrote in an Instagram post. “The status of the festival was one thing when I signed up for it, but, sadly was forced to become something else. It must be an age thing but the words Government Experiment and Festival 😂😂😂.”

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He added that he had informed Tramlines he wouldn’t be performing at the 2021 event, despite the festival continuing to advertise his presence. “Richard wishes to confirm that in spite of the publicity issued by the tramlines organisers he is not appearing at the tramlines festival on july 24,” he wrote in a note on his website. “He does not understand why he is billed as appearing. Once he was advised that he could only appear subject to certain government restrictions he immediately advised the organisers that he would not appear under those circumstances. He apologises to all of his fans for the confusion but that was not of his making.” (sic)

Ashcroft is hardly the only UK musician with questionable views as it relates to the pandemic. The Stone Roses’ Ian Brown is refusing to play UK festivals with mandatory vaccination policies, Noel Gallagher mocked wearing a mask as “bollocks,” and Van Morrison launched an anti-lockdown song series, which included collaborations with another COVID truther, Eric Clapton.

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