Zac Brown Band crew members were recently denied entry into Canada because of “charges on their records from over a decade ago,” according to the Atlanta-based group, which canceled a Vancouver gig as a result.
The three-time Grammy-winning act, which had been scheduled to perform in Vancouver last Friday, October 21st, took to social media to reveal the obstacle and the nixed show. Having kicked off the ongoing Out in the Middle Tour back in April, the Zac Brown Band had entertained fans in Canada twice this year (including an early June concert in Toronto) before a portion of its crew was turned away.
Notwithstanding these successful outings, the Zac Brown Band indicated that “a single border agent” had taken issue with some crew members’ criminal records as the group attempted to cross into the nation of about 38 million residents. And per the account from the professionals behind “Chicken Fried,” this partial denial of entry compelled them to shelve the performance altogether.
“We’re sorry to announce that we won’t be able to perform in Vancouver tonight,” wrote the Zac Brown Band. “Our Canadian fans are incredible, and we would love nothing more than to share an evening of music together. Some of our crew members had charges on their records from over a decade ago that have since been removed. Our team has regularly performed in Canada for 10 years, including two performances this year alone.
“Each time we’ve come to Canada,” continued the 20-year-old band, “we have been at the mercy of a single border agent who decides who is allowed in to work, and unfortunately, not everyone was able to make it in the country last night.
“We are a family, a tribe. We stick together and support each other and we never leave anyone behind,” finished the group, which laid off 90 percent of its road crew just days into the COVID-19 pandemic. “As a band who prides themselves on showing up with excitement and professionalism, we will always play where we are welcome and appreciated, and we’re so sorry we can’t be there tonight.”
Moving forward, knowledge of the Zac Brown Band’s less-than-ideal experience at the Canadian border could prove useful to other acts as they route their own tours.
Rampant inflation, across-the-board rising costs, and enhanced competition for fans’ time (and money) due to the post-pandemic tour influx represent just a few of the many problems that artists are grappling with in the inherently unpredictable live music space at present.
The last month alone has brought concert cancelations (for select shows, certain legs, and even entire tours) from Rage Against the Machine, Santigold, Coldplay, Yoshiki, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Roger Waters, Post Malone, and Animal Collective.