Entertainers get grounded by a nasty cloud of ashA volcanic cloud of ash hovering over Europe is causing quite a scene in Hollywood and beyond.
The ash spat out by an Icelandic volcano that has left thousands of air travelers stranded is also affecting celebrities, filmmakers, musicians and even pro-wrestlers.
With almost two-thirds of Europe’s flights grounded, cancellations and postponements were popping up across the entertainment landscape on Saturday as Icelandic scientists warned that volcanic activity had increased and showed no sign of abating.
Organizers of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California, tweeted that some acts were forced to pull out of the weekend event, including English rockers The Cribs and Bad Lieutenant, Scottish rockers Frightened Rabbit and English dance trio Delphic. It also appears unlikely that English synth singer Gary Numan will make it to Coachella for his Sunday slot.
“The last thing I expected this morning when I woke up was to hear that volcanic ash might be preventing us from flying to America,” Numan posted on his Web site. “At the moment, the very best British Airways are offering us, and this without any guarantee, is to put us on a Sunday flight that gets into Los Angeles in the afternoon on Sunday.”
However, several performers from Europe scheduled to perform at Coachella were already across the Atlantic Ocean or had boarded planes before the volcanic cloud forced a rash of flight cancellations. Those included Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, Gorillaz, Muse, Hot Chip, Fever Ray and Florence and the Machine.
Whitney Houston was forced to ditch a plane for a ferry across the Irish Sea to perform in Dublin. The R&B diva, currently in the middle of her “Nothing But Love” world tour, opted for the not-so-glamorous boat ride after no-fly orders shut down airports across Europe. Houston is scheduled to perform the first of three shows Saturday at the O2 arena in London.
The ash cloud also grounded several other musicians in Europe. Welsh indie pop band Los Campesinos! canceled their Friday appearance at the Culture Shock Festival in Purchase, New York, as well as their Saturday concert in Hoboken, New Jersey. Pop singer Mika postponed his Friday concert in Lisbon, Portugal, after unexpectedly finding himself stranded in Paris.
“Volcano freak out,” he tweeted. “This is bad.”
The situation was also causing havoc for World Wrestling Entertainment, which is nearing the end of a two-week European tour. Wrestlers and crew members traveled for nearly 17 hours in buses and ferries to make it from Lieven, France, to Belfast, Ireland. The trip normally takes about an hour and a half in a plane.