Richard Ashcroft has pulled out of Tramlines Festival after it became part of the Government’s pilot events programme.
The former lead singer of The Verve was due to headline the Sunday night of the Sheffield event, which will take place from July 23 to 25 in front of a full capacity audience of 40,000 fans.
Ashcroft, 49, said in a post on Instagram that he had told organisers he was not willing to perform at the festival once it had become part of the Events Research Programme (ERP).
The Bitter Sweet Symphony songwriter wrote: “Apologies to my fans for any disappointment but the festival was informed over 10 days ago that I wouldn’t be playing once it had become part of a government testing programme.
“I had informed my agent months ago I wouldn’t be playing concerts with restrictions.
“The status of the festival was one thing when I signed up for it, but, sadly was forced to become something else.”
Posting a series of laughing face emojis, he added: “It must be an age thing but the words Government Experiment and Festival.”
He added the hashtags #naturalrebel and #theydontownme.
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 does not understand why he is billed as appearing. Once he was advised that he could only appear subject to (p1/2)
— Richard Ashcroft (@richardashcroft) July 5, 2021
In a subsequent statement released on Twitter, a representative of Ashcroft added: “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.”
Tramlines Festival has been contacted for comment.
The Streets, Royal Blood and Dizzee Rascal are scheduled to play at the sold out event.
Last month, Download festival went ahead as part of the ERP with around 10,000 music fans at the rock and metal music event in Leicestershire – although the capacity was significantly reduced from its normal attendance of 111,000.
Later this month, Latitude Festival in Suffolk is due to take place with a capacity of 40,000.