Rick Springfield has canceled his upcoming performance in the Dominican Republic amid rising concerns over safety in the country after several tourists have died there. The "Jessie's Girl" singer announced on social media that he'd be postponing his Rick Springfield & Friends fan getaway event originally scheduled for Punta Cana this November so that it can take place in Cancún, Mexico, in 2020.
"We have been closely monitoring the situation in the Dominican Republic," Springfield, 69, wrote in a message shared to his Instagram and Twitter platforms. "In an abundance of caution and for the peace of mind and well-being of my fans, band and crew, the ‘Rick Springfield & Friends’ event in Punta Cana is being rescheduled to take place at Hard Rock Hotel Cancun in 2020. New dates will be determined as soon as possible. We hope to have this announcement within the next two weeks."
Springfield, 69, apologized for any inconvenience the change may have caused fans and wrote that any guest who wishes to cancel will have an option for a full refund when the new dates are announced.
"While this decision has not been easy, the safety and well-being of our amazing fans, band and crew will always be the most important consideration in any situation," he wrote. "Sending our love and best wishes to all of our friends in the Dominican Republic. Thank you for your patience while we work out the new details. Look forward to seeing you soon in Mexico! Rick."
At least 10 American tourists have been confirmed dead after falling ill in the Dominican Republic, with dozens more getting sick. The FBI is investigating at least six of the deaths that occurred in the Caribbean nation; some of them appear to be bizarre — and similar — circumstances. The agencies involved are not yet releasing information about the investigations.
The FBI has said that federal agents are on the island nation to investigate four deaths at various Bahia Principe properties and two at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
The bodies of Edward Nathaniel Holmes and his fiancée Cynthia Ann Day were found in their Grand Bahia Principe La Romana resort hotel room on May 30. Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, collapsed on May 25 after mixing a drink from the minibar in the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville. Pennsylvania native Yvette Monique Sport, 51, collapsed in 2018 at the Bahi Principe resort in Punta Cana. David Harrison, 45, died at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana in July 2018, and Robert Bell Wallace, 67, died last April.
The four other victims include Jospeh Allen, 55, found dead on the floor of his room at the Terra Linda in Sosua on June 13, and Vittorio Caruso, 56, who fell ill on June 17 at the Boca Chica Resort in Santo Domingo. In Punta Cana, Lexla Cox, 53, died at the Excellence Hotel and Resort on June 10 and Chris Palmer, 41, died at the Villa Cocotal Palma resort on April 18, 2018.
Officials from the U.S. and the Dominican say that the deaths do not represent a statistical outlier.
“Speaking generally, we have not seen an uptick in the number of US citizen deaths reported to the Department,” a statement from the U.S. State Department read. “While the overwhelming majority travel without incident, we want to assure all Americans that we continue to work actively with the Dominican authorities at the very highest levels to ensure that U.S. citizens are safe and feel safe while in the Dominican Republic.”
The Dominican Republic's Ministry of Public Health spokesman Carlos Suero told Fox News, “It’s all a hysteria against the Dominican Republic, to hurt our tourism, this is a very competitive industry, and we get millions of tourists, we are a popular destination.”