Dead & Company Cancel Appearance Prompting Playing in the Sand Cancellation

It looks like 2022 is headed for a replay of last year, as COVID-19 cases have already impacted the music world in just the first week of the new year. The annual Playing in the Sand festival with headliner performers Dead & Company was set to start today (January 7) in Riviera Cancun, Mexico has been called off.

Last week we learned that Dead & Company drummer Bill Kreutztmann had announced he would not be able to travel to Cancun’s Playing in the Sand Festival due to health issues not related to COVID-19, making the decision to bow out based on medical advice from his doctors. Now we learn that lead vocalist John Mayer has pulled out of the festival just hours before his scheduled flight to Mexico after testing positive for COVID-19. The withdrawal of both Kreutztmann and Mayer would have left Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Chimenti without their bandmates, prompting the band to cancel their entire appearance at the music festival. The festival promoter CID responded the same day (Jan. 6) by cancelling all dates of the festival (January 7-10 and January 13-16) following the news of Dead & Companies’ withdrawal from the event, leaving countless festival-goers in a predicament, since many had traveled to the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun in advance of the festival.

CID made it clear the reason they pulled the plug on the festival by releasing the following statement “due to additional COVID-19 cases amongst multiple artists and staff.”

“It is with very heavy hearts that we must cancel both Dead & Company Playing in the Sand 2022 event weekends, due to additional COVID-19 cases amongst multiple artists and staff. Despite strict Health & Safety protocols, these unprecedented times have forced us to make a difficult decision, and we fully understand the inconvenience and disappointment it may cause.” – Festival promoter CID’s statement.

There had been apprehension among those planning to attend the festival due to the recent surge in Omicron cases that have ripped through towns across America without any clear peak in sight. Pass-holders had attempted to receive refunds if they were no longer able to attend the event; however, CID has not allowed for any refunds to this event and others they have having in coming weeks. In response to their policy, a petition asking CID to make refunds available has been signed by thousands. Due to the pressure from the campaign, CID opened a short 48-hour refund window from Dec. 29-31 that would have given ticket-holders a full refund. With the refund window closed, thousands remain holding tickets to a cancelled festival.



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