Thumbs up for Down on the Close despite Imelda May no-show - The Rugby Observer

Thumbs up for Down on the Close despite Imelda May no-show

Andy Morris 30th Aug, 2017   0

FESTIVAL-GOERS in Rugby were devastated after singer Imelda May – newly dubbed Imelda ‘May or May Not’ – pulled out of the Down on the Close festival at the last minute.

The would-be headliner cancelled her gig a day before the much anticipated event on Rugby School’s famous turf after she was invited to perform at ‘The Money Fight’ boxing match between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas.

Irish mixed martial artist-turned boxer McGregor invited his fellow national to perform the Irish anthem before the fight.

Imelda May. (s)

She was replaced on the festival bill at the last minute by Irish folk singer Cara Dillon.




Festival organisers broke the news on Facebook, saying they were devastated by Imelda May’s decision.

A spokesperson said: “It is with great surprise and regret that we have to announce this short-notice cancellation. However we do understand why Imelda has made the decision to accept this new opportunity.”


Imelda wrote a heartfelt apology to festival fans on Facebook.

She said: “I was really looking forward to it, but I have just been offered a once in a lifetime opportunity that I can’t turn down. I hope you will understand.

“I did not do it for money or fame. I simply felt duty called. I was asked to represent my country at the biggest sporting event in our small island’s history.”

But many fans remained unconvinced, and some slammed the fight, branding it a money-making ‘circus’.

One commenter wrote: “She has betrayed the trust of her fans and walked away from a profession commitment in which many people have spent hard earned money, booked flights, booked hotels, booked tickets, only to be let down by an entirely selfish decision.”

Others left a sympathetic response for festival organisers, crediting them for turning the situation around so quickly.

Julie Macswan wrote: “You did your best and you should be pleased with yourselves, you all obviously worked so hard to try and pull things together. Very embarrassing, I felt for all those involved.”

The festival itself, which featured Wilko Johnson, Toploader and the Roving Crows alongside Cara Dillon, received positive feedback despite the lineup change.

A spokesperson for the festival said: “There were no issues. She made a decision and we reacted accordingly. There are no hard feelings. The show went on and it was a success and we had some sensational feedback.”

Festival organisers are taking advice from their legal team regarding refunds, and were unable to comment further.

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