‘Six’ musical and Sheku Kanneh-Mason drive-in concerts abruptly cancelled amid local lockdown fears

16 July 2020, 12:05 | Updated: 16 July 2020, 12:11

‘Six’ musical and Sheku Kanneh-Mason drive-in concerts cancelled
‘Six’ musical and Sheku Kanneh-Mason drive-in concerts cancelled. Picture: Getty

By Sian Hamer

Concerns about local lockdowns have made it “impossible” for the event organisers to go ahead “with any confidence”, they have said.

A series of drive-in shows, including performances of Six the Musical and concerts from Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason, have been abruptly cancelled.

Event organisers Live Nation have put the brakes on the tour due to fears surrounding potential local lockdowns.

The Utilita Live From The Drive-In concerts were set to take place across the UK this summer, allowing music fans to enjoy live performances while remaining socially distanced in a “one-of-a-kind drive-in setting”.

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A spokesperson for the event said: “We received huge support from artists, the live music production contractors, our headline sponsor Utilita along with our other partners, and of course you, the fans.

“However the latest developments regarding localised lockdowns mean it has become impossible for us to continue with the series with any confidence.”

They added: “We thank everyone for their support and eagerly await a time when we can watch live music together again.”

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Siblings Sheku and Isata both put out a statement on Instagram, expressing their sorrow at not being able to share their music in a live setting, after months out of action. The young cellist and pianist had been due to play at four drive-in events, at racecourses and other outdoor areas around the country.

The drive-in event had envisioned a new kind of music experience
The drive-in event had envisioned a new kind of music experience. Picture: Live Nation

Six producers Kenny Wax, Wendy and Andy Barnes and George Stiles apologised for the last-minute cancellation, saying: “We are so sorry to disappoint the thousands of fans who have booked tickets and sold out many dates on the tour.

“It is also a sad day for our West End and UK Tour Queens who had already started rehearsals and our entire team of up to 60 people who were all working so hard to deliver a spectacular show.”

While the shows were permitted under the government’s new rules for performing arts, which include performances outdoors with a limited audience, the planned tour of Six was due to visit 12 cities, several of which have since been identified as emerging Covid infection hot spots.

'Six' the musical will no longer be touring the UK with drive-in concerts due to local lockdown concerns
'Six' the musical will no longer be touring the UK with drive-in concerts due to local lockdown concerns. Picture: Getty

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The drive-in event had envisioned a new kind of music experience amid the global pandemic, allowing the public to enjoy live performances from the safety of their cars while complying with all official guidelines.

But the uncertainty surrounding the recent developments with local lockdowns has, unfortunately, put an end to what could have been an exciting new way to enjoy live music once again.

Organisers have reassured ticket holders that refunds will be sent directly within the next seven days.