Rick Springfield has moved a music festival slated to take place in the Dominican Republic in November after more than 12 suspicious American deaths were reported in the last year, with dozens of others recounting intense sicknesses.
Family members of people who died in the Caribbean country began coming forward in June after a Maryland couple was found dead in their hotel room on May 30.
Springfield was set to perform during a “Rick Springfield & Friends” all-inclusive fan getaway from Nov. 7 through Nov. 11 in Punta Cana at the Hard Rock Hotel & Resort.
The resort was the site of at least two of the deaths. A Jimmy Buffett tour group was also sickened after dining at the hotel.
Springfield announced on July 1 that the concert would be moved to an unspecified date next year in Mexico.
“We have been closely monitoring the situation in the Dominican Republic. In an abundance of caution and for the peace of mind and well-being of my fans, band and crew, the ‘Rick Springfield & Friends’ event in Punta Cana is being rescheduled to take place at Hard Rock Hotel Cancun in 2020. New dates will be determined as soon as possible. We hope to have this announcement within the next two weeks,” fans were told.
The goal was to book in Cancun this year but the resort there wasn’t able to accommodate the request, the announcement said.
“We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding. Once the new dates are formally announced, any guest who wishes to cancel will have an option for a full refund through Rose Tours. While this decision has not been easy, the safety and well-being of our amazing fans, band, and crew will always be the most important consideration in any situation. Sending our love and best wishes to all of our friends in the Dominican Republic,” the statement added.
The festivals started as concert cruises nearly 10 years ago before shifting to resorts on the land, reported TMZ. The November dates were going to be the first time in the Dominican Republic.
The newly rescheduled festival will also include Patty Smyth, Doug Davidson, and Gunz & Mullets.
Another Death, Schumer Calls for Probe
Springfield moving the festival happened after yet another death was reported and a top U.S. official called for a probe into the deaths.
Khalid Adkins of Colorado became sick in the country and tried getting on a plane back to the United States on June 23 but was forced by airline staff to get off.
While the Dominican tourism minister said that the deaths have not, in fact, been unusual, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to get involved in the investigations into the deaths.
“Given that we still have a whole lot of questions and very few answers into just what, if anything, is cause for the recent spate of sicknesses and several deaths of Americans in the Dominican Republic, the feds should double their efforts on helping get to the bottom of things,” Schumer said in a statement to The Associated Press.
The FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are already involved.