Sinead O'Connor has backed out of a planned mainstage berth on this summer's gay-themed Wotapalava tour, citing "unforeseeable family commitments." The news was broken to tour organizers just hours be

Sinead O'Connor has backed out of a planned mainstage berth on this summer's gay-themed Wotapalava tour, citing "unforeseeable family commitments." The news was broken to tour organizers just hours before today's (May 30) announcement of the full details for the inaugural event. As tipped here earlier this month, the 18-date tour kicks off July 13 in Miami.

Pet Shop Boys principal Neil Tennant, whose group will headline the trek, said he is "disappointed" O'Connor dropped off the bill, but added, "we probably have a very good replacement." More details are expected to be confirmed in the coming days.

Wotapalava, an old English slang term roughly translated to "what a fuss about nothing," will also feature performances by Rufus Wainwright, Soft Cell, and the Magnetic Fields on all dates. Veteran DJs Junior Vasquez and Danny Tenaglia will perform at select shows, and Tennant promises impromptu appearances by the Village People and Gloria Gaynor as well. The full lineup is available at the event's official Web site.

Presale tickets for the entire tour are on sale now via presenting sponsors PlanetOut.com and Gay.com. Remaining tickets go on sale Saturday (June 2) for shows in Miami; Atlanta; Wantagh, N.Y.; Boston; Columbia, Md.; and Holmdel, N.J. Tickets for all other shows go on sale June 9. Tennant said there are no plans to take the tour international, but he hopes it will become an annual event.

In keeping with Tennant's goal of bringing about "fairness and equality for all people," one dollar from the sale of each ticket will be donated to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the country's largest gay and lesbian advocacy organization. The HRC will then redistribute the proceeds to its youth programming efforts and to organizations in each local tour stop.

In related news, Tennant also reported that five Pet Shop Boys albums will be re-released June 26 by Capitol (a sixth title, "Bilingual," is due in early August), complete with bonus tracks. A new studio album is in the works for 2002, as is a longform DVD film. In the meantime, Tennant and Pet Shop Boys partner Chris Lowe are gearing up for tomorrow's (May 31) London debut of the musical "Closer to Heaven," for which they wrote music and lyrics.

Here are the Wotapalava tour dates:
July 13: Miami (AT&T Amphitheater)
July 15: Atlanta (Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheater)
July 18: Wantagh, N.Y. (Jones Beach)
July 20: Boston (FleetBank Boston Pavilion)
July 21: Columbia, Md. (Merriweather Post Pavilion)
July 22: Holmdel, N.J. (PNC Bank Arts Center)
July 23: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (Blossom Music Center)
July 25: Burgettstown, Pa. (Post Gazette Pavilion)
July 27: Toronto (Molson Amphitheater)
July 28: Clarkston, Mich. (DTE Energy Music Theatre)
July 29: Tinley Park, Ill. (Tweeter Center)
July 31: Denver (Fiddlers Green)
Aug. 3: Mountain View, Calif. (Shoreline Amphitheater)
Aug. 4: Irvine, Calif. (Verizon Wireless Amphitheater)
Aug. 8: Dallas (Smirnoff Music Centre)
Aug. 10: Selma, Texas (Verizon Wireless Amphitheater)
Aug. 11: Woodlands, Texas (Woodlands Pavilion)