Ian Brown has said a lot of crazy shit about the coronavirus. In a bizarre Twitter rant last fall, the former Stone Roses frontman called COVID-19 a “plandemic” that’s making us “digital slaves”, and he shared a new solo song that fleshed out his worldview into 5G microchip territory. Since then, he’s continued to blather conspiratorial nonsense on Twitter, and now he’s putting his money where his mouth is.
As of today, the English musician has stepped down as the headliner of an upcoming UK festival because attendees are required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination. The 58-year-old was slated to headline the second night of a three-day festival called Neighbourhood Weekender, but after organizers announced that they’re pushing the fest back to September and that attendees will have to show proof that they’re vaccinated, Brown has dropped off.
“My Saturday night headline show at NHBD Weekender Festival will now not happen!” he wrote on Twitter. “I refuse to accept vaccination proof as condition of entry. Refunds are available! X”
As NME points out, this isn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision for Brown, who dropped his last solo album, Ripples, in 2019. Last week, the Madchester icon seemed to know what was coming and released a public dispatch proclaiming that he’ll “NEVER sing to a crowd who must be vaccinated as a condition of attendance. NEVER EVER!”
Fellow Manchester veterans James have replaced Brown as the night’s headliner. Other artists on the bill include Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Wombats, Sam Fender, and Gerry Cinnamon.
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My Saturday night headline show at NHBD Weekender Festival will now not happen! I refuse to accept vaccination proof as condition of entry.Refunds are available! X
— Ian Brown (@ianbrown) March 3, 2021
I will NEVER sing to a crowd who must be vaccinated as a condition of attendance. NEVER EVER!
— Ian Brown (@ianbrown) February 26, 2021
Full update on #NBHDWKND21 below. We can't wait to see you this September!
— NBHD Weekender (@nbhdweekender) March 3, 2021