Eddie Vedder cancels Pearl Jam concert due to throat damage from extreme weather

Band cite heat, dust and smoke from French wildfires as the cause of vocal cord damage, resulting in cancellation of Vienna gig

Eddie Vedder, frontman with rock band Pearl Jam, has suffered damage to his throat and attributed it to extreme weather conditions in France this week.

Pearl Jam performed at the Lollapalooza Paris festival on Sunday, where temperatures reached a mid-afternoon high of 36C (96.8F).

They cancelled a concert in Vienna on Wednesday, stating: “Due to the extreme circumstances at the last outdoor site, outside of Paris (heat, dust, and smoke from the fires) our singer Ed Vedder’s throat was left damaged. He has seen doctors and had treatment but as of yet, his vocal cords have not recovered. This is brutal news and horrible timing … for everyone involved.”

They added that they were “deeply sorry” and that refunds would be offered.

Forest fires broke out in the south-western Gironde region of France last week. Nearly 40,000 people have been evacuated from their homes, with over 20,000 hectares of land burned.

Smoke from the fires has reached Paris, where meterologist Sébastien Léas told Franceinfo: “The sky is cloudy, a little hazy, and you can smell burning.”

Paris’s police force wrote on Twitter on Tuesday: “It is possible you can sense an odour of burning … this smell is definitely coming from the fires which are striking across France. The reason? The changeability of the wind. Do not clog up emergency phone lines. Do not call firefighters unless the presence of a fire has been proven.”

Pearl Jam’s next scheduled date is in Prague on Friday night, on a tour described in a five-star Guardian review as “a sensitive, subversive new vision for classic rock”.


Ben Beaumont-Thomas

The GuardianTramp

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