I'm not sure if I'm a superstitious person (to quote Michael Scott, I might not be superstitious, but I am a little stitious), but if I didn't know better, I would say the New Orleans Jazz Festival is starting to sound a little cursed. The forthcoming May music festival was set to welcome The Rolling Stones as a headliner at the venue before the rock band pulled out of its 2019 tour due to Mick Jagger's heart surgery concerns. The band was soon replaced on the docket by Fleetwood Mac. But this week, the music group also announced that it will no longer be performing at the music festival concert — or any of the remaining dates on the tour, in fact — since Stevie Nicks is currently down for the count with the flu. I'm not a betting man, but it sounds like something quite eerie is happening with this music festival.
One big dropout is simply rotten luck. But two big dropouts?! That spells trouble.
As it was announced by New Orleans Jazz Fest, Fleetwood Mac is not only cancelling their planned performance on May 2nd but all four of their remaining tour dates as Stevie Nicks is currently sick with the flu. There is no clear idea when the band is expected to perform again, but the concert dates are currently postponed indefinitely until Nicks returns to her former health.
Hopefully, similar to The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac will return to the stage at some point later this year. Maybe even as early as this summer? As for now, the band needs to temporarily cancel their tour dates and step down from their short-lived scheduled appearance at the New Orleans Jazz Festival. Of course, the iconic band doesn't want to put the festival runners in such a sore spot. But if Stevie Nicks is unfit to perform, there's nothing else the band can do. As disappointing as it likely is for fans, Stevie Nicks' health is obviously what matters most.
This past year has found Fleetwood Mac met with a series of troubles — primarily when it came to firing long-time bandmate Lindsey Buckingham, who has also unfortunately been met with his own health concerns of late. The world-famous band went on its first tour without Buckingham in decades this past fall, and it has generally been met without problems until Stevie Nick fell ill with the flu. While these things ultimately do happen, it's unfortunate that it occurred close to the end. The last leg of the tour has been met with some unfortunate circumstances, and Fleetwood Mac will need to postpone plans until Stevie Nicks is on the mend.
We hope Stevie Nicks gets well again soon. Meanwhile, when it comes to New Orleans Jazz Fest, a replacement has already been found. As it was reported by The Advocate, Widespread Panic — which is a veteran jazz group and not merely the emotional state of the festival organizers — stepped up to fill in for both The Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac after their respective health-related absences.
Hopefully, there's no reason for concern when it comes to Widespread Panic's capability to go forward with this upcoming show. Maybe this third group will be the charm for this ill-stricken festival? Certainly, one should hope so by this point.
Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.
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