QUEEN's Brian May and Roger Taylor, plus singer Adam Lambert, spoke today of the "heartbreak" at having to once again postpone the highly anticipated European dates of their "Rhapsody" world tour.
Following a sensational run across Asia and Oceania last winter, QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT were originally set to rock Europe in summer 2020. During the band's spring break, however, the coronavirus outbreak left them no choice but to prioritize the safety of fans, crew and venue staff by postponing the dates until 2021.
Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic still far from resolved, the band is forced for a second time to reschedule the tour dates, moving them to 2022.
"Under continuing Europe-wide COVID restrictions there's no possible way the tour can go ahead as planned for this year," QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT said today. "The prospect of again not being able to look forward to performing and getting to experience those wonderful audiences is just heartbreaking."
To ease their loyal fans' disappointment, Brian, Roger and Adam have announced a new and expanded set of 2022 dates for the Europe "Rhapsody" shows, when they hope it will finally be safe to perform for large audiences.
While the tour remains set for the original May-July period, the 2022 dates will now kick off in the U.K., starting with two shows at the Manchester MEN Arena on May 30 and 31. British fans will also welcome the addition of two extra U.K. shows at Glasgow's Hydro venue on June 2 and 3.
The full list of the now 29 rescheduled shows will, as before, include a marathon 10-night residency at London's The O2, plus a pair of concerts apiece in both Manchester and Birmingham (and now Glasgow).
The band's previously scheduled 13 mainland Europe shows now follow the U.K. dates throughout late June and July. See rescheduled dates below.
Promoters for the "Rhapsody" tour confirmed today that all previously purchased tickets continue to be valid for the corresponding rescheduled shows. Ticket holders will be contacted by their point of purchase for information on ticket exchanges for the new dates. New dates can be found at QueenOnline.com.
"We wish to make it clear: none of the shows from 2020 and 2021 have been canceled, just re-arranged due to COVID-19," the band said. "We really do hope that as many people as possible who were booked for those original dates in 2020 will still be able to join us for the shows."
This time last year, QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT were reaching the end of the "Rhapsody" tour's Japan leg and heading out for eleven massive Australia and New Zealand shows. "After starting off 2020 with an amazing run of shows playing to audiences of upwards of 50,000 in a single night," says the band, "the cancelation of the Europe shows that should have followed last summer was a huge disappointment."
May adds: "Those incredible scenes at those concerts now seem like an impossibly distant dream. One minute we are out in Australia strutting our stuff and interacting with thousands of happy people, next minute we are stuck in the house. We were so lucky to be able to complete that tour, running just ahead of the wave that was about to break on us."
Despite the wrench of being off the road, the band has certainly made the most of its enforced downtime, with Brian, Roger and Adam managing to remain active throughout 2020. Early in the first lockdown, the three artists connected up, triggered by a guitar track Brian posted on his Instagram grid. Working remotely, Roger and Adam added their parts to Brian's track, leading to a new version of "We Are The Champions", their pioneering lockdown single "You Are The Champions". With the proceeds going to front line health workers, the track became a musical cry of support for all who were fighting the coronavirus. The video featured many scenes from COVID wards and included Roger's very own daughter Dr. Rory Taylor. The video was viewed nearly four million times during its first month on YouTube, with the proceeds going towards the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization.
Taylor responded to the stay-at-home policy writing and recording his personal reflections of the time with an atmospheric solo single "Isolation" which gave him a No.1 rock chart single and video.
Staying engaged with their fans, the band then returned to YouTube with a Tour Watch Party offering highlights of QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT performances from previous tours and festival gigs. The enthusiastic response led directly to the compilation, mixing, and release of their first album together, "Live Around The World", presented in CD + Blu-ray and vinyl packages. A concert version of the movie is now available to stream via download or rental.
Uplifting and defiant in challenging times, "Live Around The World" proved a welcome positivity booster for fans as they continue to wait for the "Rhapsody" tour to resume. It also gave QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT a No 1 album on week of release in the U.K. and elsewhere around the world — marking QUEEN's first UK No 1 album in 25 years, their 10th in total and Adam's first time at the top of the chart.
On getting back to performing live again, Taylor says: "When we do eventually get to play in front of live audiences, it will be with a ferociously renewed attack and we shall revel in the wonderful experience of actually interacting with them again."
Lambert says: "It's so disappointing to have to postpone again, but safety comes first, and we look forward to spring 2022 when we will be back, better than ever."
The postponement of this year's tour dates is especially disappointing for the band, which was looking forward to playing the shows as part of a significant landmark for QUEEN. With fifty years now having passed since the 1971 recruiting of John Deacon, completing QUEEN's classic lineup, 2021 marks a QUEEN golden jubilee that the band was hoping to celebrate with fans.
QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT 2022 tour dates:
May 30 - Manchester, UK AO Arena
May 31 - Manchester, UK AO Arena
June 02 - Glasgow, UK SSE Hydro
June 03 - Glasgow, UK SSE Hydro
June 05 - London, UK The O2
June 06 - London, UK The O2
June 08 - London, UK The O2
June 09 - London, UK The O2
June 11 - Birmingham, UK Utilita Arena
June 12 - Birmingham, UK Utilita Arena
June 14 - London, UK The O2
June 15 - London, UK The O2
June 17 - London, UK The O2
June 18 - London, UK The O2
June 20 - London, UK The O2
June 21 - London, UK The O2
June 24 - Berlin, Germany Mercedes-Benz Arena
June 26 - Cologne, Germany Lanxess Arena
June 28 - Zurich, Switzerland Hallenstadion
June 29 - Munich, Germany Olympiahalle
July 01 - Amsterdam, Holland Ziggo Dome
July 02 - Amsterdam, Holland Ziggo Dome
July 06 - Madrid, Spain Wizink Centre
July 07 - Madrid, Spain Wizink Centre
July 11 - Bologna, Italy Unipol Arena
July 13 - Paris, France AccorHotels Arena
July 15 - Antwerp, Belgium Sportspalais
July 17 - Copenhagen, Denmark Royal Arena
July 18 - Copenhagen, Denmark Royal Arena