In a message to its fans, the band announced the difficult but necessary decision.
“There is no greater thrill for us than playing for our incredibly devoted audience, but their safety must come first,” declared a joint statement released by the group. “Having seen what the world has endured during the last 45 days, and not knowing what the rest of this year or 2021 will bring, we knew the right thing to do was to make sure our fans’ health was not put in jeopardy and to provide immediate access to refund options given the unexpected events caused by this terrible virus.”
The statement continued: “We would like to thank all doctors, nurses, police, other first responders and essential workers for their heroic efforts; as well as our fans for doing everything possible to stay safe. We would also like to send the Pretenders our best wishes and hope to see them in the future. We will see everyone again as soon as it is safe to tour, and we will share that news as it becomes available. In the meantime, please ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ in the wonder of life and in each other.”
Journey had originally planned an extensive 60-date trek across North America in 2020, with the Pretenders accompanying as opening act. The tour was supposed to kick off May 15 in Ridgefield, Wash.
Fans were eager to see the band’s return to the stage following a relatively quiet 2019. Aside from a handful of dates together, members of Journey spent the majority of last year focusing on various other projects, including Neal Schon‘s Journey Through Time tour.
Journey’s dates are just the latest in a long list of tours canceled or postponed by the continuing COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic has brought the worldwide live music industry to a standstill as bans on large events and instructions on social distancing continue to be the norm.
At the time of writing, there have been more than 3.4 million worldwide cases of coronavirus, with more than 1.1 million confirmed in the U.S. The pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 67,000 Americans, a number that continues to climb.