MACHINE HEAD has postponed the second European leg of its 25th-anniversary tour for the band's classic debut album, "Burn My Eyes", due to a fast-spreading outbreak of the new coronavirus.
The second run of dates was scheduled to kick off in Zaragoza, Spain on April 19, continuing across Portugal, Eastern Europe, Russia, Scandinavia, wrapping in the U.K. with a Birgmingham show at the Academy on June 6.
MACHINE HEAD announced the tour postponement in a social media message earlier today. The group wrote: "It is with heavy heart that we must announce the postponement of our upcoming EU/UK tour in support of the 25th anniversary of 'Burn My Eyes'.
"As residents of the Bay Area, we've been hit hard and have witnessed firsthand what has been going on. Public gatherings of more than 1000 have been banned in San Jose, and events in downtown San Francisco including major concerts and conferences have been shut down.
"We have been watching the situation overseas on a daily basis, in contact with all promoters, and local governments for the status of our concert there. As of a week ago, we had 6 concert cancelled until the 2nd week of April, due the banning of public gathering over 1,000 people (or in some cases 100 people). Even at that point, we still held out hope that things would be contained, and that the public gathering ordinances would be lifted but the time our tour started.
"As of today, we now have 14 shows cancelled until the first week of April, with 7 of them cancelled indefinitely. And it appears as of an hour ago, another 3 have been cancelled.
"15 minutes ago the World Health Organization just declared the Coronavirus a pandemic.
"Of paramount importance to us is the heath and safety of the Head Cases. We've worked hard with all our management, booking agents, and business associates to find other solutions or options, but the levels of risk to our audience and their communities is simply too high for our comfort level. In addition to that, we also have a unique group of extraordinarily passionate fans who travel from all over the continent to watch our shows. We are eternally humbled by the dedication and devotion of the Head Cases, however in this case, travel is something not recommended.
"So it is with deep frustration and regret that we are forced to make this announcements. The 'Burn My Eyes' 25th anniversary tour is to be postponed and shows rescheduled for a later date, hopefully in the Fall, but possibly later.
"We look forward to our next concerts with you all, and the ability to publicly gather together and play raging heavy metal for you and vent all of our collective frustration, as a result of this insane moment in history, out in the circle pit.
"Stay safe, stay calm, and be well friends."
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus.
This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
The virus has infected more than 115,800 people — including at least 1,000 in the U.S. — and killed more than 4,200 worldwide, according to CNN.
A number of acts have canceled or postponed tours globally due to the ongoing outbreak, including PEARL JAM, SLIPKNOT, SONS OF APOLLO, LACUNA COIL and TRIVIUM.
Until this past week, the virus had mainly impacted the live scene in Europe and Asia. But with rising infection and death counts in the United States, the American industry has begun to see the effects, with the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival postponed and South By Southwest canceled.