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The Chemical Brothers cancel Glastonbury appearance after COVID-19 diagnosis

Tom Rowlands has failed to recover in time to play at Arcadia

By Joe Goggins

The Chemical Brothers press shot
The duo only announced the last-minute set on Tuesday (June 21). (Photo: Press)

The Chemical Brothers have confirmed that their scheduled DJ slot at Glastonbury tonight (June 24) is off.

The electronic pioneers were only added to the lineup as recently as this past Tuesday (June 21), with the pair set to DJ for two hours beneath the giant spider at the Arcadia stage. A little over 48 hours after that announcement, though, the show was thrown into doubt when a positive COVID-19 case in the touring party forced them to call off a show in Cork, Ireland on Thursday (June 23).

They had not previously divulged whether one or both of the Brothers themselves had contracted the virus, or whether it was somebody within the broader touring group. Now, though, they’ve confirmed that it is Tom Rowlands, and not his musical partner Ed Simons, who has COVID, and that the illness means tonight’s gig is unworkable.

Writing on Twitter, the duo said: “We are very sorry to announce that we won’t be DJing at Arcadia this evening at Glastonbury. We were so excited to be back in the fields and to celebrate the return of the festival, as we were to be playing in Cork on Thursday night. We were hoping that more days rest would allow Tom to recover from COVID, this hasn’t so far been the case.”

The message went on: “We are hoping that Tom will recover in time to play the scheduled Castle Howard show in York on Sunday and will update with progress as soon as possible via our socials. We share the disappointment and frustration at not being able to do what we do with all of you.”

They then concluded: “Love Is All, Tom & Ed.” The news comes as George Ezra’s heavily rumoured secret set on the John Peel Stage on Sunday (June 26) was thrown into doubt by a diagnosis of laryngitis that forced him out of Denmark’s Tinderbox Festival today. In better news for revellers, however, Wolf Alice appear to have pulled their dramatic transatlantic dash to the festival out of the bag. Proceedings got underway this afternoon with a set by The Libertines on the Other Stage.