The massive disruption of flights from Europe and the UK to the US thanks to the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull (and no, we can't pronounce it either) resulting in an enormous ash cloud harmful to airplanes, has also derailed the Coachella and North American tour plans of The Cribs, Frightened Rabbit, Bad Lieutenant, Gary Numan, Delphic, Los Campesinos!, DJ Mary Anne Hobbs and more.
Bad Lieutenant, the new band of former New Order frontman Bernard Sumner, has already cancelled several gigs in San Francisco and Los Angeles leading up to their Coachella appearance this weekend in Indio, California. The band has been unable to fly out of Manchester Airport and remains in the UK. Strangely, the group also hit a snag to visit the US last year when a visa issue caused a cancellation of a batch of December shows.
The NME reports that The Cribs have officially cancelled their Coachella appearance, though the band did try to drive to Amsterdam before realizing that they'd still be late for their weekend set at the festival.
"Unfortunately, despite a Herculean effort we won't be able to play at Coachella this year," wrote the band on The Cribs' MySpace. "We are pretty gutted to be frank, currently languishing in the grimmest ferry port after waiting for good news about free airspace that never came."
"We were told that there was no way we would make it in time for our set tomorrow," continued The Cribs, "but we hung around in the car park for a couple of hours anyway figuring out our best options and trying desperately to get our flights changed to any that would get us there but to no avail. The only option we could think of was to drive to Amsterdam and then get the earliest flight out of there possible the next morning, arrive after no sleep and literally get to the festival at the time we were due onstage. After having done things like that so many times in the past that seemed like an OK option so we set straight off, but we were just looking for glimmers of hope. We've sat around all day in car parks, airports, service stations, ferry ports and our van, talking on the phone constantly to managers/promoters/agents/air traffic control and it became clear that even if the airspace was considered clear tomorrow morning AND the flight wasn't delayed we wouldn't be able to make it. Pretty hard to accept."
Glasgow's Frightened Rabbit have been stranded at a hotel near Heathrow Airport in London, hoping to make their Coachella spot, which also kicked off the band's upcoming North American tour. This morning, the band tweeted, "Probably won't make it to LA in time. Should we just do an acoustic show in Heathrow?
Los Campesinos! were not scheduled for Coachella, but were set to begin a US tour here tonight, April 16, at the Culture Shock Festival in Purchase (which they have now cancelled) and join Cymbals Eat Guitars at Maxwell's on Saturday. The band has rescheduled their Maxwell's show for Wednesday, April 21 and all tickets from April 17 will be honored on that day.
Up-and-coming Manchester electro-rockers Delphic have finally conceded that they won't make their much anticipated Stateside debut at Coachella, writing on their Facebook page Friday afternoon, "We are massively disappointed, but we've had to cancel our set at Coachella and our trip to the US. We tried our best to get there but our flights have been repeatedly cancelled due to volcanic ash from Iceland. No, seriously. We were really excited to be a part of such an amazing festival with so many incredible bands and are looking forward to eventually making it out to the States this summer."
Brooklyn Vegan reports that Gary Numan has also been bemoaning the cold, hard fact that his Coachella hopes are likely dashed since the earliest he and his band can get a British Airways flight out of Heathrow is on Sunday, landing in Los Angeles that afternoon, which will barely give them time to make the three hour drive to Indio.
"That is one step away from useless," says Numan, "and means that, if we are very lucky, we might just make it to the festival site (a three hour plus drive from Los Angeles) in time for our slot but without a single second of rehearsal with Robin Finck, the American based guitar player for the US shows, who has never played with us before, and no real chance of collecting and checking the equipment that we have hired for those shows, which includes all the keyboards, guitars, drums etc etc."
In better news, Coachella-booked British acts like Gorillaz, Thom Yorke, Muse, the xx, Florence and the Machine and The Specials, are already in the States and will be able to participate in the festival this weekend.