Grateful Dead drummer and founding member Bill Kreutzmann is sitting out Dead and Company’s upcoming Playing in the Sand concerts in Mexico, citing personal health concerns, Kreutzmann announced on Monday.
“Playing in the Sand has become my favorite tour stop in recent years and there’s so much about it that’s just so great. And thus, it is with a heavy and still recovering heart that I have to relay a note that I received from my doctor this morning ordering me to sit this one out,” Kreutzmann wrote on Twitter.
Kreutzmann had to miss several Dead and Company shows this past fall, and Jay Lane sat in for him instead. Lane is expected to fill in for Kreutzmann in Mexico as well.
Playing in the Sand has become my favorite tour stop in recent years and there’s so much about it that’s just so great. And thus, it is with a heavy and still recovering heart that I have to relay a note that I received from my doctor this morning…
— Bill Kreutzmann (@BKreutzmann) January 3, 2022
“After a lifetime of playing special beats, it’s almost no wonder that my heart came up with its own idea of rhythm,” Kreutzmann said on Twitter. “All jokes aside, my doctor has ordered me to take it easy (and stay safe) through the end of January so that I can continue to drum and play for you for many tours to come. I have a lot of music left in me and there’s no stopping me from playing it. I’ve never been one to obey orders or play by the rules but in the interest of longevity, I hope you’ll understand. I wish my brothers in the band the best these next two weeks and I look forward to meeting back up with them — and with you — before you know it. Please stay safe out there so that we can do it all again.”
Kreutzmann’s announcement is the latest development in a tumultuous few weeks for Dead and Company’s two weekends of concerts at the Moon Palace resort in Cancún. For several weeks, Deadheads concerned about going to the show in the middle of a surge in Covid cases had pushed concert organizer CID Events to change its policy and offer refunds to no avail before the promoter announced a new refund policy last week.
Several ticket holders who spoke with Rolling Stone said they wouldn’t be attending, citing health concerns or their fear of getting stuck quarantining in Mexico if they got Covid while at the resort. Over 2,000 people signed a petition on Change.org calling for refunds before the new policy was put in place.
While Kreutzmann won’t perform, the show is still slated to go on as planned. But the case surge has already changed the optics of the event. With cases rising, organizers recommended last week that concertgoers don’t leave the resort for the duration of their stay, and all the off-resort events CID originally planned for the concerts have been canceled.