Swedish doom metal legends CANDLEMASS have been forced to cancel tonight's (April 17) appearance at the Roadburn festival — which is being held this weekend at the 013 and Midi Theatre in Tilburg, Holland — after a cloud of ash from an Icelandic volcano continued to blanket Europe Saturday, shutting down airspace in 23 countries and causing travel misery for millions of people.
CANDLEMASS was scheduled to play a very special two-hour set in celebration of its 25th anniversary, including a performance of its classic debut album, "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus", in its entirety with original singer Johan Längquist on vocals.
Commented CANDLEMASS bassist Leif Edling: "I'm devastated, and very sad!! I hate to sit on my ass here in Stockholm when i could be in Tilburg having the time of my life! See DEATH ROW, WITCHFYNDE, SHRINEBUILDER, TRIPTYKON AND do a classic CANDLEMASS show!
"I wanted this soo much!! Been preparing it for months!! Then a bloody volcano on Iceland ruins everything!
"I want you to know that we really tried to see if it was possible to get down by car. If it was 12 hours in a car to Tilburg, we would have done it. But all calculations pointed to 18-20 hrs instead. And that is just too much. Our driver refused after thinking about it, and another guy we talked just laughed at us…. insanity! We would have arrived in terrible condition to Tilburg sat morning 06:00-08:00….and nobody gains on that. The show would have been so-so.
"I hope you understand. And we have to make it up to you somehow. Maybe Roadburn next year?
"Again, I feel totally crap about not being in Tilburg right now!! There's not a place on Earth I'd rather be, than at Roadburn today to give all you doom fanatics a great show!! But the gods of wrath were against us! Not much you can do about angry volcanos, I'm afraid!"
CNN.com reports that twenty-three European countries were prohibiting takeoffs and landings Saturday, according to Eurocontrol and local authorities. Some of those countries kept their airspace open, but it may be difficult to access it because in most cases, the surrounding area is not available for flights, Eurocontrol said.
Airlines including Air France, Lufthansa, British Airways, Ryanair and Qantas announced restrictions to their schedules in Europe because of the ash, which experts have said can stall engines and cause electrical failures on board aircraft.
Forecasts suggest the cloud of ash will persist and that the impact will continue for at least the next 24 hours, Eurocontrol said Saturday morning.