A two-day celebration of the life of John Bonham that was due to be held in his home town of Redditch in September has been cancelled.
The organisers of “John Bonham A Celebration II” published a statement on the event’s website on May 29 which said that the event would no longer be held.
Maggie Bell was scheduled to headline the two-day festival, which was going to be held on September 20-21.
Led Zeppelin tribute band CODA, who were scheduled to close the festival, will instead perform at the Queen’s Head pub in Redditch on September 21.
The organisers said that they will now plan an event to take place in 2020, which will be the fortieth anniversary of Bonham’s death.
Tight But Loose editor Dave Lewis wrote on the magazine’s website that the organisers of the event “work tirelessly to support the John Bonham memorial and keep his memory very much alive.”
“I am sure they will be back in 2020 with an event that will do the 40th anniversary justice -and one everyone can enjoy.”
Here’s the full statement from the organisers of the event:
John Bonham A Celebration II Cancelled By Organisers
Plans to celebrate the life of Redditch-born Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham with a two day music festival in the town have been scaled down.
The “John Bonham A Celebration II” event has been cancelled after organisers decided they were not able to deliver the event to a standard that would do justice to the town’s most famous musical son.
Organisers hoped to build on the success of the town centre festival last year which was timed to coincide with the unveiling of the John Bonham memorial statue and helped raise more than £23,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust. They hoped to establish an annual festival in memory of the rock legend known to fans worldwide as Bonzo.
More than a hundred tickets had already been sold for the event in September – to fans as far afield as the USA, Canada, Norway, Australia and even Turkmenistan. Full refunds have already been paid.
Eight acts had been booked with legendary blues singer Maggie Bell among the headliners. The decision to cancel was taken after consultation with John Bonham’s sister Debbie, whose band performed at last year’s event.
Promoter Ros Sidaway said:”We can only apologise to people who have been inconvenienced and were looking forward to what promised to be another memorable event. I’m sure we have made the right decision in cancelling this year with a view to providing something even better in future. We were doing this in the name of one of the all-time greats of rock music and it would be wrong to deliver anything less than the best.
“John’s family recognise this, and we wouldn’t want to embarrass them or sell his memory short in any way. It’s encouraging that we know people are prepared to travel from all over the world to honour his memory in his hometown.”
CODA – Led Zeppelin tribute act, who were due to close the festival on Saturday September 21st will now play at the nearby Queen’s Head and the Black Tap will also host live music.
The organisers are hoping to put on a full scale tribute next year – the 40th anniversary of Bonzo’s death. Anyone locally interested in joining the Organising Group to help with this should contact Ros via the website www.JohnBonhamAC.com as soon as possible