British singer Richard Ashcroft has pulled out of the headline slot at a music festival after it became part of the government’s pilot events programme.
Ashcroft cancelled his scheduled appearance at the Tramlines Festival in Sheffield, England, immediately after organisers decided to make the event part of the government’s Events Research Programme, meaning only those who’ve been ‘double jabbed’ or tested negative for Covid can attend and must submit to further government tracking after the event.
The former Verve frontman told fans on Instagram that he refuses to be a part of any “government experiment” or events that impose restrictions.
“Apologies to my fans for any disappointment but the festival was informed over 10 days ago that I wouldn’t be playing once it had become part of a government testing programme,” he wrote
“I had informed my agent months ago I wouldn’t be playing concerts with restrictions The status of the festival was one thing when I signed up for it, but, sadly was forced to become something else,” the singer added.
He also tagged the hashtags #theydontownme and #naturalrebel.
Festival attendees will be asked to provide evidence of either a negative covid test result from the last 48 hours or proof of having had two doses of the vaccine.
Ashcroft follows in the footsteps of former Stone Roses singer Ian Brown, who in March withdrew from a festival in Warrington because he refused to play events that “accept vaccination proof as condition of entry”.
Brown responded to Ashcroft for standing firm on the matter: