Eric Clapton has cancelled three concerts that were scheduled to take place in St Petersburg and Moscow in June, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
A report by TMZ collated a number of artists who still had shows scheduled in Russia in the foreseeable future, with Clapton among them. However, a representative told TMZ that Clapton’s planned shows – one in St Petersburg and two in Moscow – have been cancelled, and that it is “highly unlikely that [the concerts] will be reinstated at any time.”
The invasion has drawn condemnation from the world of music and beyond, and many other artists have cancelled upcoming shows in Russia and Ukraine. Green Day, Nick Cave and Franz Ferdinand are among those who have nixed their upcoming shows in Russia.
Clapton has not made a direct statement regarding the cancellations on social media or otherwise.
The guitarist has been mired in controversy recently, due to his doubling-down on conspiracy theories related to the COVID-19 vaccine. Initially, Clapton simply reported the adverse side effects he suffered after his doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
However this soon bloomed into spreading misinformation about its potential effects on fertility, criticising lockdown measures for (in his view) needlessly cancelling his live shows, and eventually touting the baseless theory of Mass Formation Psychosis.
Additionally, Clapton now only conducts interviews with anti-vaccine outlets, despite his claim that he is neither anti-vaccine nor pro-vaccine. He conducted a lengthy interview with Robert F Kennedy, who has claimed since the early 2000s that vaccines cause autism. However, when asked for a quote for a piece by The Washington Post, a representative for Clapton stated: “Given the depressingly bad standard of journalism reflected in certain recent articles, Eric Clapton has no desire at the moment to engage with the US Press. Anyone in the public eye has to expect and accept negative comment, but it should be balanced.”