The 11 dates were set to take place between March 16 and April 8, but will be rescheduled for later in the year, with all tickets remaining valid.
“After serious consideration, is it with much regret that the Who have postponed their U.K. and Ireland tour,” a statement read. “The fans’ safety is paramount, and given the developing coronavirus situation, the band felt that they had no option but to postpone the shows.”
Singer Roger Daltrey said the shows would “definitely happen. … It may be the last time we do a tour of this type, so keep those tickets, as the shows will be fantastic.” Guitarist Pete Townshend stated that “if one fan caught coronavirus at a Who concert, it would be one too many.”
The Who also postponed their appearance at the annual Teenage Cancer Trust show at London’s Royal Albert Hall on March 28 for the same reasons, saying that date will also be rescheduled in the near future.
With the COVID-19 outbreak confirmed as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, along with travel restrictions put in place by the U.S., Italy, Ireland and several other countries, it seems probable that the list of canceled or postponed tours will lengthen.
The U.K. government this week suspended business rates in England in the hopes of offering relief to small business, including music venues, that will suffer a downturn in trade.