When the Fall were announced as headliners for Louisville’s Cropped Out festival, it was a big deal in certain corners of music fandom. The long-running and incredibly prolific UK post-punk act rarely play in the U.S., and their appearance at the fest would have been their first stateside performance in over a decade. Sadly, that show, and another scheduled performance in New York, aren’t going to happen; even more sadly, according to statements from Cropped Out and the Fall’s manager, it’s because 60-year-old Fall mastermind Mark E. Smith was recently hospitalized for issues with his throat, mouth, and respiratory system. Fortunately, it sounds like he’s going to be fine. The band says the NYC show has already been rescheduled for sometime next year, and they’re working on another Louisville show as well.
Here’s the full statement from Fall manager Pamela Vander, as relayed by Cropped Out’s organizers:
It is with great regret to announce that Mark E. Smith & The Fall have had to cancel all upcoming U.S shows in New York (Baby’s All Right) & Louisville (Cropped Out Festival) due mostly to terrible timing, reality and a mix of bizarre and rare (true to form) medical issues that Mark is currently being treated for. Unfortunately it would be a gamble on his health to fly anywhere over the next couple of months. Mark’s current problems are connected to his throat, mouth/dental & respiratory system… so throwing all the meds together and continuing with the travel/shows would certainly harm any progress that we have made over the past few weeks.
We understand that this is a huge deal for both American/worldwide fans of The Fall and The Fall themselves, Mark & the guys have been really excited and everyone is gutted about the outcome. However, it’s high-time Mark put his health first and that’s what we are gonna do.
So here’s the good news… NYC has been rescheduled already and we are gonna arrange another show in Louisville. Both promoters have been incredibly helpful & fantastic in securing The Fall a safe passage to America, and this will still be happening in 2018. Your Lord and Saviour Markus E. Smith wants to let you all know that even though he can’t play live for a short while, the cabin fever is spitting out a new album already and new music is now (as ever) The Fall’s main focus.
And here’s a statement from the festival itself:
There’s no easy way to say this, folks, so here it is: Due to the most recent hospitalization of our fearless leader Mark E. Smith, The Fall have had no choice but to cancel their U.S. dates for 2017 — Louisville (Cropped Out) included. This is something we’ve been working on since just before Christmas of last year. It was one of our biggest feats as an organization to date and still feels unreal that it was ever going to happen in the first place, perhaps even more unreal that it now will not. But hey…that’s life, ain’t it? These things happen. Most importantly, Mark seems to be hanging tough as always, and for what it’s worth, I’ve been told a re-schedule is already in the works for early 2018. Obviously (for those of you doing the math), we won’t have a festival happening at that time, but…who knows what we can pull off by then. They’ll keep you posted on those dates / details as they unfold. For now, we not only wish M.E.S. a quick and bumpless recovery, but also send our best to the rest of the band, who are no doubt as utterly squashed by today’s bad news as any of us.
New Facts Emerge, the Fall’s 32nd(!) studio album, was released in July. Get well soon, Mark!
This article originally appeared on Spin.