DEVILDRIVER has canceled its appearance at the Rebel Rock festival over COVID-19 concerns.
The Californian metal band pulled out of the event, which is set to take place between September 24 and September 26 in Orlando, Florida, "due to the new COVID variant and logistics around keeping everyone safe," frontman Dez Fafara announced on social media today.
"It's with great dismay that we announce DEVILDRIVER will not be taking the mainstage with WU TANG and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE at The RebelRock festival this September in Florida due to the new covid variant and logistics around keeping everyone safe from this virus within our band and crew," Fafara wrote in a statement. "We will 100% be on next year 2022 on the main stage and hope to see you all there . Please stay safe, healthy and happy until then."
In a separate message in the comments section below DEVILDRIVER's original Facebook post, Dez wrote: "You all need to realize I am responsible for 12 plus lives in my band and crew . I don't take a decision to pull out of a show lightly as over 29 years I've missed 4 shows …
"To the people here attacking each other over politics etc please stop. This isn't about left or right and yes I also agree if this goes on much longer I'm going to go ahead , book tours and move ahead no matter what ! Period !
"You guys fucking KNOW ME …. You also know I am not gonna just stand by and let my destiny be controlled by a flu or gov shut downs for long ….
"I'll say this so you all know how it works to get one fly in show we need to … Rehearse w the band and crew … Take transportation to an airport … Go through that airport … Fly on a plane … Take transport to a hotel … Take transport to the venue … Go backstage with people … Go to catering with people or we don't eat . Play … Then repeat to get home . That's a lot of chances to get someone vaxxed or not SICK …… and that weighs heavy on me . So please don't try to be doctors here , don't attack each other over politics it's what the system wants is to divide people and here … I'm all about unity."
Florida's COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths recently reached their highest levels since the pandemic began. There were a total of 5,721 deaths in Forida in August, surpassing the previous monthly high of 5,469 deaths in January, before vaccines were widely available, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Florida's Republican governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill earlier this year that banned so-called vaccine passports. The fines will start September 16 if people are asked to show proof of a vaccine. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the law does not apply to employers that require vaccination of their staff.