Pearl Jam announced the postponement of its upcoming North American tour Monday night, making the band the latest high-profile act to respond to growing concerns about coronavirus.
"As residents of the city of Seattle, we’ve been hit hard and have witnessed firsthand how quickly these disastrous situations can escalate. Our kids’ schools have closed along with universities and businesses," Pearl Jam wrote on Twitter. "It’s been brutal and it’s gonna get worse before it gets better. So we are being told that being part of large gatherings is high on the list of things to avoid as this global health crisis is now beginning to affect all of our lives.
"Unfortunately, communing in large groups is a huge part of what we do as a band and the tour we’ve been busy planning for months is now in jeopardy," it continued. "We have and will always keep the safety and well-being of our supporters as top priority. So it is with deep frustration and regret that we are forced to make this most unfortunate of announcements... This scheduled first leg of our PJ/Gigaton tour will need to be postponed and shows rescheduled for a later date."
Pearl Jam noted that while it has "worked hard with all our management and business associates to find other solutions or options," the risks posed to fans "is simply too high for our comfort level."
The band also pinned some blame on the government's coronavirus response, explaining that "having no examples of our national health department's ability to get ahead of this, we have no reason to believe that it will be under control in the coming weeks ahead."
The North American leg of Pearl Jam's tour was set to begin at Toronto's Scotiabank Arena March 18. The band had arena dates lined up through mid-April, including at New York's Madison Square Garden, Denver's Pepsi Center and Los Angeles' Forum. No modifications were announced for the second leg of its 2020 tour, which kicks off in Frankfurt, Germany on June 23.
Earlier today, both Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam, which will release its first album since 2013 later this month, were announced as headliners for September's Ohana Festival.