While many of us are going back to concerts as if the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer a factor, we’re still very much seeing the effects of the pandemic lingering on the live music industry and the artists who make their living going on tour. Animal Collective are the latest in a growing number of artists who are cancelling their tour dates, as the group shared a lengthy statement today citing “the economic reality” that they’re facing with embarking on a full slate of UK and EU tour stops and festival dates in November.
“It has been a wild year for us trying to push through a mountain of touring obstacles related to COVID and the economy,” the statement starts. The band had to cancel dates recently as well because three of the members contracted “bad” COVID infections. The statement continued:
“But preparing for this tour we were looking at an economic reality that simply does not work and is not sustainable. From inflation, to currency devaluation, to bloated shipping and transportation costs, and much much more, we simply could not make a budget for this tour that did not lose money even if everything went as well as it could. We have always been the kind of people to persevere through the difficult times and get on stage unless our health prevented it. We are choosing not to take the risk to our mental and physical health with the economic reality of what that tour would have been. We hope you understand and that you know we would not make a choice like this lightly. We truly want nothing more than to make it out there again.”
Apart from their tour stops in November in support of their latest album, Time Skiffs, Animal Collective also had a couple of notable music festival appearances scheduled. One at Pitchfork’s inaugural London festival, and another at Le Guess Who? festival in the Netherlands, where they were curating an entire showcase of acts. It’s alarming to think that even for a well-established act like Animal Collective, touring in the wake of the pandemic is still presents a number of challenges that wears on them deeply. So much so, that cancelling a number of lucrative paydays is the best option for their well-being. This is a reminder, that while live music is back, we’re not totally out of the woods just yet.
Find the band’s full post below.