Geordie star Sam Fender has announced he will be “taking some time off the road” to look after his mental health, after admitting that he was “burnt out” from touring.
The news comes shortly after the musician announced a huge homecoming gig at Newcastle United’s stadium, St James’ Park, next summer.
This is everything you need to know.
Why has Sam Fender cancelled his tour?
Fender announced on social media that he would be cancelling a number of his upcoming performances in order to take care of his mental health.
He said that it would be “hypocritical” of him to advocate for discussions surrounding mental health, and to write songs about the subject, if he didn’t take the time to look after his own mental health.
Fender explained that he had “neglected myself for over a year now and haven’t dealt with things that have deeply affected me”.
He also added: “My friends and colleagues have been worried about me for a while and it’s not going to get better unless I take the time to do so.”
The musician outlined which performances were affected by the news, and apologised to his fans for “letting them down”.
“I refuse to go out there and not give it my all EVERY time, as you all deserve nothing less,” Fender wrote.
Which performances have been cancelled?
In his statement, Fender explained that his upcoming US headline shows will be cancelled, as well as his gigs with Florence and the Machine and appearance at the Life is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas.
His previously rescheduled UK record shop dates have also been cancelled, with Fender adding that “hopefully we can work something out for those ticket holders”.
He confirmed that, as it stands, he still intends to play in Australia in late November and everything to come in 2023, including his gig at Newcastle United’s stadium, St James’ Park, which is set for 9 June 2023.
Fender previously described the news that he would be playing St James’ Park as “a childhood dream come true”.
What if I have tickets?
There has not yet been an official announcement regarding what will happen to tickets that fans have already bought to affected shows.
According to Ticketmaster, “if an event is cancelled, no action is required to obtain a refund; we will issue a refund to the original method of payment used at time of purchase, once funds are received from the Event Organiser”.
It adds: “If an event has been postponed, it means the Event Organiser is still working to determine whether the event will be rescheduled or cancelled; in the meantime, your tickets (including any updates or add-ons, such as parking) are still valid and no further action is required.
“When the Event Organiser cancels or reschedules the event, we’ll notify you of the new status and explain your options.
“Also, in some instances, the Event Organiser may give you the option to request a refund, or the option to choose between a refund or a credit. If that is the case, we will notify you of those options.”
Sam Fender’s statement in full
On Instagram and Twitter, Fender wrote: “It seems completely hypocritical of me to advocate discussion on mental health and write songs about it if I don’t take the time to look after my own mental health. I’ve neglected myself for over a year now and haven’t dealt with things that have deeply affected me.
“It’s impossible to work on myself while on the road, and it’s exhausting feigning happiness and wellness for the sake of business. My friends and colleagues have been worried about me for a while and it’s not going to get better unless I take the time to do so.
“I am eternally overwhelmed by the love and support of our fans and I hate to let you down, but the state of my wellbeing is starting to affect everything I do, including my performances… I refuse to go out there and not give it my all EVERY time, as you all deserve nothing less.
“As a result, I’m sadly going to have to take some time off the road. We are cancelling our 3 remaining headline shows in the US and pulling out of the shows with Florence and the Machine, as well as Life is Beautiful Festival.
“I’m also especially sorry to everyone who’s been waiting for news on the rescheduled UK record store dates but the decision has been taken to cancel these shows (hopefully we can work something out for those ticket holders, you’ll hear from us soon) so I can come back stronger.
“Super excited for Australia in late November and everything to come in 2023 - St James’ Park man, f**king unbelievable.
“I can’t express how grateful we are to have such an awesome fan base. I’ve met a fair few of you over the years and those encounters have genuinely restored my faith in humanity, you’re all sound as f**k.
“Me and the boys are burnt out and we need this time. Thank you for always sticking by us [heart emoji].”