Korn and Faith No More cancel summer tour, including Scranton stop at Montage Mountain
Today, platinum-selling rock bands Korn and Faith No More announced that their co-headlining North American tour has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, including their planned stop at The Pavilion at Montage Mountain in Scranton on Thursday, Aug. 27.
Korn posted the following message on their social media accounts:
The Korn & Faith No More Summer Tour will unfortunately no longer be taking place. It is with heavy hearts that we came to this decision out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our fans, crew, and fellow artists. Ticket holders will be emailed directly with their refund options, including a full refund, or you can request a 150 percent credit at Live Nation Concerts venues + they will donate the number of tickets you originally purchased to healthcare workers on the front lines. For more details, please visit livenation.com/refund. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Last week, Nashville country singer Chris Stapleton canceled his July 30 performance in Scranton and postponed the rest of his All-American Road Show, followed by Wilkes-Barre rock band Breaking Benjamin canceling their summer tour with Bush, which included a hometown stop at Montage Mountain on Saturday, July 18. Kidz Bop Live also postponed its Montage show coming up on Wednesday, June 17, which would have opened the summer concert season at the outdoor venue.
The week before, the mountain’s biggest annual events, the Peach Music Festival and Camp Bisco, were canceled and rescheduled for the same weekends next year. The next Peach Fest will now be held on July 1-4, 2021 with the same headliners – the long-awaited reunion of Oysterhead (Trey Anastasio of Phish, Les Claypool of Primus, and Stewart Copeland of The Police), Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, and The String Cheese Incident – signed on to return. The Disco Biscuits’ Camp Bisco will be back on July 8-10, 2021.
As of now, tickets remain on sale at livenation.com for only one previously announced concert – the Big Rock Summer Tour with Ratt, Cinderella’s Tom Keifer, Skid Row, and Slaughter on Aug. 29.
When reached for comment recently, venue operator Live Nation did not have any more information on the remaining shows, and the Big Rock Summer Tour is still scheduled to make many of its stops this summer, though all May and June dates in other areas were postponed.
“Thanks for reaching out, appreciate your interest. As things continue to evolve, we’re monitoring closely. We don’t have any specific details to share just yet, but let’s stay in touch as plans develop,” Live Nation told NEPA Scene in an email.
“In the meantime, if fans have any questions about the status of their Live Nation event, they can check livenation.com/eventstatus at any time for the most up to date information.”
In a first quarter teleconference on May 7, Live Nation Entertainment President and CEO Michael Rapino said the company was “on track for tremendous growth across all our businesses with both fan demand and artist touring increasing on a global basis” this year, but in March, everything came to a halt as stay-at-home orders went into effect to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“We recognize the experience at our venues will change when concerts start back up, and we are working with medical experts and public health officials on procedures to keep people safe while enjoying our shows,” he said.
“When we asked over 8,000 fans across North America about their requirements for returning to shows, they had two clear priorities – with 85 percent of fans stating they want increased cleaning and sanitizing of the venues and ready access to hand sanitizing stations, while no other actions received more than 40 percent support. In addition, we expect to have additional safety protocols in place, potentially including reduced capacity, touchless concessions, and creative ways to apply our digital ticketing technology.”
Rapino noted that that the company is working with federal and state governments on reopening phases and will let “facts and science” dictate when concerts should be held again, offering “Live From Home” streaming shows in the meantime.
“We know from fans that demand will be there when the shows return. Globally, over 90 percent of fans are holding on to their tickets for rescheduled shows where refunds are available, which is the clearest demonstration of pent-up demand that will enable us to quickly start concerts back up,” he continued.
“Reinforcing this, in a global survey of 10,000 live musicgoers, over 90 percent indicate they will be back to concerts once possible to do so. Looking further out, given that 80 percent of shows have been rescheduled rather than canceled, and as we noted almost all fans are holding on to their tickets, we believe 2021 can return to show volume and fan attendance at levels consistent with what we’ve seen in recent years.”
This follows backlash Live Nation received last month after fans reported trouble receiving refunds for shows marked as “postponed” rather than canceled after some fine print on its website was allegedly edited. On April 16, U.S. Representatives Bill Pascrell and Katie Porter wrote a letter to Live Nation and Ticketmaster criticizing their handling of the situation and urging them to help their customers in their time of need.
“A New York Times report found that this same Ticketmaster webpage used to read that refunds ‘are available if your event is postponed, rescheduled, or canceled’ and was quietly changed. In response, Ticketmaster has asserted that the change was made for ‘clarity,’ and your company then deflected responsibility to event organizers,” the letter said.
“Your claim that Ticketmaster’s refund policy was not changed but clarified is so absurd it insults the intelligence of your customers. Furthermore, given your enormous power over the marketplace, your company’s assertions that this inability to obtain a full refund for postponed events shows rings hollower than a drum. In effect, your company is holding hostage money that could constitute a rent check, electric bill, or groceries to feed children.
“There is no question that this crisis is badly hurting members of the live events community, from promising artists to striving promoters, small venue owners, set designers, concessionaires, and others. But given your market power, your responsibility to customers is broad.”
Ticketmaster President Jared Smith issued a response on April 17.
“Neither our clients, nor Ticketmaster, intend to withhold refunds on postponed shows. In fact, as of today, both Live Nation Entertainment and AEG Live, two of our largest event organizers, have announced they will begin to provide refunds, on a rolling basis, for all events impacted by COVID-19,” he said.
“The industry has come together to navigate this unprecedented time. We know fans are eager to return to live events, and collectively share in experiences with their favorite artists, athletes, and actors. We need time to manage through so we are all in a position for that to become a reality, and we look forward to the day when we can come together again.”
Fans who are seeking refunds for previously purchased tickets to any Live Nation show can visit livenationentertainment.com/ticketrefund for more information.
by Rich Howells
Rich is an award-winning journalist, longtime blogger, photographer, and podcast host. He is the founder and editor of NEPA Scene.