Metal Legends Cancel the Rest of Their Tour Over COVID-19 Woes

English heavy metal band Saxon has canceled the remaining shows of the European leg of their Seize the Day World Tour. Saxon had three dates lest of the leg – a March 17 show in Dresden, a March 18 show in Linz, Austria, and a March 19 stop in Ulm, Germany – but announced in a March 17 Facebook post that the shows were being postponed after vocalist Biff Byford tested positive for COVID-19.

"We are very sorry, but due to Biff Byford catching Covid whilst on tour, the remaining European dates in Dresden, Linz and Ulm are cancelled and we are looking to reschedule them as soon as possible," the band announced. "Again we are very sorry for all the inconvenience this causes but is way beyond anyone's control. Keep the faith."

At this time, rescheduled dates for the three shows have not been announced. Just a day prior to the announcement, the band scrapped its March 16 concert in Rostock, at the time only citing "unforeseen circumstances." The band added, "sincere apologies from the band, management & promoters for any inconvenience." Saxon has not provided an update on Byfford's condition at this time.

The cancelation comes amid another major shakeup for the band. On March 10, Saxon announced that guitarist Paul Quinn was retiring from touring. In a statement, the band explained that Quinn, a founding member of Saxon in 1975, made the decision "after much soul searching." The statement added, "after many years on the road, with the subsequent stress and tiredness that accompany long tour schedules, Paul doesn't want his performance to suffer and let his fellow band mates and fans down." Saxon clarified that while Quinn would be retiring from touring, he "will continue to record with the band and may play select special shows in the future." Amid Quinn's departure, Saxon canceled its April 2023 South American tour as well as their scheduled appearance at the Monsters Of Rock cruise.

Quinn and Byford formed Saxon, originally named Son of a Bitch, after having played together in a group called Coast. The band was co-founded in 1975, with Quinn and Byfford being the only constants in the band's line-up since then. The band is set to release their next album, More Inspirations, on March 24. The album is a follow-up to 2021's Inspirations and is produced by Byford with Seb Byford helping record the music alongside mixing engineer Jacky Lehmann.