Richard Ashcroft – former lead singer of Wigan band The Verve – has pulled out of Tramlines Festival after it became a pilot event for government testing.
The musician was due to play a headline slot at the Hillsborough Park festival later this month – which has been permitted to take place at full capacity as part of the government’s Events Research Programme.
But on Monday (July 5), Ashcroft confirmed he would not be playing the event.
The singer shared a screenshot of an announcement revealing Tramlines was going ahead but appeared to cover up his own face from the image.
“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.”
He also added the hashtags #naturalrebel and #theydontownme.
Messages sent from Ashcroft’s official Twitter account also confirmed that the singer would not appear at Tramlines.
A spokesperson said: “Richard wishes to confirm that in spite of the publicity issued by the tramlines organisers he is not appearing at the tramlines festival on July 24.
“He does not understand why he is billed as appearing. Once he was advised that he could only appear subject certain government restrictions he immediately advised the organisers that he would not appear under those circumstances.
“He apologises to all of his fans for the confusion but that was not of his making.”
All restrictions on mass gatherings including festivals are set to end on July 19 – four days before the first day of Tramlines.
However, the festival will still form part of the Events Research Programme as the government looks to trial the use of the NHS app for COVID-status certification on a larger scale “to inform how crowds can return to live events safely”.
According to the Tramlines website, all ticket-holders will be required to show proof of a negative COVID result from a lateral flow test taken within the previous 48 hours, or two vaccination doses, with the second received at least 14 days before.
There will be no social distancing or mask-wearing requirements at the event.
The festival will also feature Dizzee Rascal, The Streets, The Kooks and Blossoms.
In March, Ian Brown also pulled out of a festival over government restrictions – claiming he would no longer play Neighbourhood as he “refused to accept vaccination proof as condition of entry.”
The former Stone Roses lead singer was replaced by the band James.
Yes, it’s true – in what is news that admittedly sounds fake, but somehow actually isn’t, one of the best rappers of all time has revealed himself to be an avid watcher of Britain’s longest-running soap, and is such a fan of it, in fact, that he said he’s “determined” to make an appearance on it sometime in the future.
The iconic ITV soap – which is set in the fictional Manchester suburb of Weatherfield, and celebrated an impressive 60 years of entertaining the masses back in 2020 – currently averages around six million viewers per episode, and has developed a well-deserved legion of loyal fans over the last six decades.
And it turns out, one of those loyal fans is chart-topping rap superstar Snoop Dogg.
“Coronation Street, I love it,” the 17-time Grammy Award nominee admitted.
“If they call me I’ll do it. I’ll play whenever they need. I love the cinematography, acting, the storylines and just the reality.
“I’d like to be a part of it because they’ve been a part of my culture.”
As bizarre as it all sounds, this surprisingly isn’t the first time the rapper – whose real name is Calvin Broadus Jr – has publicly revealed he’s a fan of the soap, and even famously admitted all the way back in 2010 that he had his agent get in touch with ITV to see if there was any chance he could make an appearance.
“I had my agent reach out to them to see if they could try to get me on and they said they were interested so hopefully it might happen,” Snoop told the BBC.
“It would be perfect for me to be on the show.”
The Drop It Like It’s Hot and The Next Episode rapper isn’t the only famous name who’s revealed himself to be a fan of Coronation Street in recent months.
One of the greatest and most well-respected singer songwriters of all time, Bob Dylan, also admitted in an interview with WSJ back in December 2022 that he loves binge-watching the soap.
The unique live concert will take place at City Airport in Manchester on Friday 14 July, just outside the city – the huge space surrounded by lush green fields will be transformed with epic light and sound productions.
You can expect a night of sing-along hits, good time grooves and Craig David classics.
Tickets will go on sale from 9am on Friday 31 March with Skiddle.