Barry Gibb has scrapped his 2017 In The Now World Tour of Australasia and canceled his appearance at the annual Byron Bay Bluesfest citing a “change in international commitments.”
The Bee Gees legend was scheduled to play eight arena, winery and festival shows, starting April 8 at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre and wrapping April 29 at Qudos Bank Arena (formerly Allphone Arena).
Those dates won’t be rescheduled and refunds will be made available for all ticket holders for Gibb’s headline shows, the tour’s producer Live Nation explained Tuesday (Dec. 20).
“Barry Gibb and Live Nation regret the disappointment to ticket holders,” a LN statement reads.
In a separate message, Bluesfest director Peter Noble explained: “Barry Gibb has changed his touring plans and will not be coming to Australia & New Zealand for his scheduled tour in 2017, including the Bluesfest play on Easter Monday. However, we already have an offer in for an amazing artist to take his place, and look forward to this confirmation and announcement as well.”
Gibb’s shows were meant to be a sort of homecoming. The British-born singer and his family got an early break in music after relocating to Redcliffe, north of Brisbane, in the late ‘50s. It was at the family home in Redcliffe where Gibb and his younger brothers Maurice and Robin signed their first record contract, and where the Bee Gees name was created.
The Bee Gees returned to the U.K and took on the world, though many Australians take pride in the fact the sibling vocal group spent their formative years Down Under. The Bee Gees were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1997, the same year the band entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And in 2013, Moreton Bay council unveiled a life-size statue, a mural and a museum as part of its Bee Gees Way in honor of the region’s most famous sons.
Gibb’s made his solo debut on the ARIA Albums Chart when In The Now opened at No. 3 on the survey in October. The album is Gibb’s second solo effort after 1984 release Now Voyager and his first LP of original material since the final Bee Gees studio set This Is Where I Came In from April 2001.
The legendary singer last performed Down Under for his 2013 Mythology Tour.