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Volcano grounds Coachella-bound artists

Cribs, Bad Lieutenant forced to cancel after eruption

According to various published reports, fallout from a volcanic eruption in Iceland, which has grounded a number of flights out of Europe, has threatened at least a handful of acts due to appear at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which kicks off tomorrow (Friday) in Indio, Calif.

And while none the stranded talents are headliners, suspended flights are also affecting music fans who were making the trek from across the pond. Known delayed acts, all from the U.K., include rockers the Cribs, Bad Lieutenant and electronic music pioneer Gary Numan.

According to the AP, officials said it could take days for the skies to become safe again in one of aviation’s most congested areas. That same report indicated that non-emergency flights could stay grounded until midday Friday, with airports in England, France, Germany, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Belgium all affected due to the ash moving south from Iceland.

“All the headliners are in the country and we’re in contact with the acts that are having travel issues based on the ash,” said Coachella promoter Paul Tollett in a statement. Organizers, either en rout to the fest or busy scrambling at the 11th hour, would provide no further comment.

“The last thing I expected this morning when I woke up was to hear that volcanic ash might be preventing us from flying to America,” said Numan, due to appear at Coachella on Sunday, on his website on Thursday. “At the moment the very best British Airways are offering us, and this without any guarantee, is to put us on a Sunday flight that gets in to Los Angeles in the afternoon on Sunday. That is one step away from useless and means that, if we are very lucky, we might just make it to the festival site (a three hour plus drive from Los Angeles) in time for our slot but without a single second of rehearsal…”

“We are still waiting to find out if British Airways can offer any better alternatives,” Numan consyinued. “Very upsetting though to see such a huge opportunity slipping through your fingers. I am glued to the TV news at the moment.”

The Cribs might be most affected by the delays, since they were due to appear on the opening day of the fest. The band hopes to get a slot later in the 3-day program.

Bad Lieutenant’s handlers issued a statement on Thursday announced that “at this point, all four of their U.S. dates, including Saturday’s performance at the Coachella festival, are expected to take place.”

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