Melissa Etheridge has canceled a major performance due to a COVID-19 outbreak in her crew. On Thursday, the singer-songwriter announced that her Saturday performance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival was canceled. She joins a string of other high-profile cancellations at the festival -- and around the country.
Etheridge tweeted that she would not be able to make her Jazz Fest performance due to "COVID hitting my crew." Her time slot will be filled by Mavis Staples instead. She added: "Oh my heart hurts not to be there. Mavis will be amazing, I know. I am hoping I can be asked back again. Dave and crew are healing. Thank you for all the well wishes. COVID heartbreak." She did not offer any other specifics on her crew member's condition but wrote that she personally is healthy. She did promise to reschedule the show and advised her followers to "Stay well. Drink lots of water."
Oh my heart hurts not to be there. Mavis will be amazing, I know. I am hoping I can be asked back again. Dave and crew are healing. Thank you for all the well wishes. COVID heartbreak. https://t.co/QxB2eNqYoR— Melissa Etheridge (@metheridge) May 5, 2022
Etheridge's cancellation came alongside other significant dropouts, including Willie Nelson. Nelson was supposed to perform at the same festival on Friday and Saturday, but announced beforehand that a member of his band had contracted the coronavirus. He also promised to reschedule the performance for a later date. Meanwhile, legendary bass player Feorge Porter Jr. posted on Instagram that he would miss the rest of the festival after testing positive for COVID-19.
According to The Times-Picayune, Porter has played multiple shows throughout the festival and other venues around the city at the same time. There are concerns of the virus spreading among artists, crew members and concertgoers, but the crowds at the last few days of the festival were still packed. The famous festival includes 80 musical acts performing on over a dozen stages simultaneously.
The festival is held each year at New Orleans' Fair Grounds Race Course, and typically draws crowds of tens of thousands of people. In addition to musicians, the festival features exhibitions, food, crafts and a whole host of other booths displaying all the state of Louisiana has to offer.
According to The New York Times, the latest data shows Louisiana in a relatively low point for COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. However, those statistics have not been updated since Friday. Of course, there can also be an extreme delay in COVID-19 data due to the prolonged gestation period of the virus. For the latest information about the pandemic in your area, visit the CDC's website.