The Who announced Thursday morning that the group is postponing its U.K. tour, which was scheduled to start Monday in Manchester, but promised that the shows will “definitely happen.”
The group is the most recent to postpone dates or a tour in recent days as the disease continues to spread. Pearl Jam and Neil Young both postponed multiple dates, the Coachella festival has been moved to October, and the dance-music-centric Ultra and Winter Music Conferences have both been cancelled in recent days.
“After serious consideration, it is with much regret that THE WHO have postponed their U.K. tour, due to start next Monday March 16th in Manchester at the Manchester Arena and finishing at Wembley SSE Arena on April 8th,” a rep for the group said in a statement. “The dates will be rescheduled for later in the year. All tickets will be honoured. The fans’ safety is paramount and given the developing Coronavirus concerns, the band felt that they had no option but to postpone the shows as a precaution.
“Singer Roger Daltrey assures fans that the shows will ‘Definitely happen and it may be the last time we do a tour of this type, so keep those tickets, as the shows will be fantastic.’ Pete Townshend said the band, ;Haven’t reached this decision easily, but given the concerns about public gatherings, we couldn’t go ahead.’
“Sadly, THE WHO will also be unable to appear at the Royal Albert Hall on March 28th as part of the annual Teenage Cancer Trust shows but intend to reschedule that show also, with more news to follow.”
In the U.S., the cities of Seattle and San Francisco both banned large gatherings of people. Washington Governor Jay Inslee has banned gatherings of more than 250 people in three counties in the state’s the Seattle-Tacoma area through “at least” the end of March, he said at a press conference late Tuesday. Hours later, San Francisco issued a similar ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people.
“This is an unprecedented public health situation and we can’t wait until we’re in the middle of it to slow it down,” Inslee said, according to King 5 News. “We’ve got to get ahead of the curve. One main defense is to reduce the interaction of people in our lives.”
Multiple venues are affected by the ban, including the 3,000-capacity Paramount Theater and the 1,000-range Showbox and Neptune Theaters, all of which have shows that will likely be postponed or canceled.
Looking ahead, two April concerts at the Tacoma Dome arena — Billie Eilish and Celine Dion — could be affected, and the summer season at the 27,000-capacity outdoor Gorge Amphitheater, which starts in May, could see postponements or cancellations as well.