Eric Clapton cancels shows after testing positive for Covid-19

Eric Clapton
(Image credit: Harry Herd/Redferns)

Eric Clapton has been forced to cancel two upcoming shows in Italy and Switzerland after testing positive for Covid-19. 

Slowhand had just made a triumphant return to the Royal Albert Hall, in which the blues great – whom for a while was even considered God by some – played Layla twice, once on acoustic guitar, once on electric.

Clapton will have to sit out his 17 May show at Hallenstadion, Zurich, and the following date at the Mediolanum Forum, just outside Milan. Clapton and his team are optimistic that they can schedule alternative dates within the next six months. Tickets will remain valid for the rescheduled shows.

Posted by ericclapton on 

If Clapton’s recovery goes to plan he should make his two-night stint in Bologna which begins on the 20 May. The statement says he tested positive following the second night at the Royal Albert Hall.

“He has been told by his medical advisors that if he were to resume traveling and performing too soon, it could substantially delay his full recovery,” read the statement. “Eric is also anxious to avoid passing on any infection to any of his band, crew, promoters, their staff and of course the fans.”

There was better news for Clapton fans across North America, with a string of dates announced for this coming September. Clapton will open these with a performance at the Columbus Schottenstein Center in Columbius, Ohio, and close them out with a two-night stint at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The statement from Clapton’s camp voiced frustration that he should come down with the virus with the tour machine up and running, “having avoided Covid throughout lockdown and throughout the period when travel restrictions have been in place”.

Clapton had voiced his opposition to lockdowns, travel restrictions and other public health measures. In 2020, he recorded an anti-lockdown protest song, Stand And Deliver, with Van Morrison. He also feared he “would never play again” after experiencing side-effects from the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine that exacerbated his peripheral neuropathy.

Tickets are still available for his remaining European dates and for the US run.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.