Beardyman has announced that he won’t be going ahead with his summer tour dates because he still doesn’t “feel safe” in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The musician (real name Darren Alexander Foreman) took to social media earlier today (July 14) to share the news with fans, adding that he doesn’t agree with the government’s proposed full easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England on July 19.
“I’ve turned down some shows this summer, and the ones I had said yes to, I have now cancelled,” his statement began. “I just don’t feel safe yet. I want to wait till we have more robust data on the efficacy of the vaccine program against the spread of the new variants.
“Long covid symptoms do not correlate strongly with severity of primary symptoms. We don’t have the data yet to know whether the vaccine’s prevention of severe infection results in escape from long covid symptoms. We will know soon. We will know, I imagine in time for my Autumn tour.”
He then when on to talk about the immunocompromised people in his life and how he doesn’t want them to be subjects of the government’s “grand experiment”, referring to the removal of all lockdown measures.
“The UK gov should not be removing ALL transmission mitigation measures,” he continued. “The majority of the UK population wish mandated masks and other such measures were remaining mandatory. Most people I know are profoundly anxious at the thought of this so called freedom day.
To everyone who has tickets to the summer shows i was booked for. pic.twitter.com/X5xMLsBhWN
— Beardyman (@beardyman) July 14, 2021
“Young people can and have got long covid symptoms. Young people can and have died of covid. We are now running an experiment to see what happens when you let all the young people in the UK get corona virus. They are not vaccinated yet.”
Beardyman continued: “Call me alarmist, call an agoraphobe, call me what you like, I am not comfortable doing shows yet. I’d not recommend to my friends that they go to indoor shows, I certainly would not. . . and my fans – and this might sound weird – are some of my best friends. . . They pay my mortgage, they encourage me to grow as an artist, to be better, to be my best self, to keep making the weird art that gives me joy and release. I would not recommend that they come to a show.”
He added that he’s hopeful his Autumn tour will go ahead, but only “in the context of robust and abundant scientific consensus that mass indoor gathering are now only a trivial risk”.
Meanwhile, bosses from the UK’s live music scene are calling on the government to allow for “cultural quarantine” passes, so that international bands and artists can perform at gigs and festivals this summer without the need to self-isolate upon arrival.