1. Whitesnake’s performance was booked as of 17 June 2021 and paid 100% in advance as of 18 June 2021 (first payment) and 16 June 2022 (second payment).
2. Whitesnake’s team, backline, backstage and crew were already at the festival before 8am in the morning to prepare for the band’s performance, who weren’t there yet. Please check some pictures in this same statement.
3. By midday, almost all of Whitesnake’s backline and staging was already set up on stage.
4. At 1:23, we received a call from Whitesnake’s agent indicating that the band’s drummer, Tommy Aldridge, was very ill with a high fever and that they could not perform. We appealed to the band’s sense of professionalism so as not to leave fans stranded, but their agent was blunt, stating that the show was “100% cancelled by the band” and that Tommy Aldridge’s health was the reason for the cancellation. We asked him to send us a statement to inform fans and to send us the medical certificate justifying the cancellation.
5. During the following hours we sent them emails and phoned them to urge them to send us both. But they didn’t answer the emails nor the phone calls.
6. At 2:50pm, with only 3h 40′ to go before Whitesnake’s performance, we uploaded the statement announcing the cancellation according to the reason they had given us.
7. At 6:15pm, they sent us an email with the following statement to replace the previous one:
Dear Whitesnake Fans
Please know we are doing everything in our power to bring you the best high energy and exciting shows we possibly can. We always strive to deliver 100%, as Whitesnake fans always deserve that much, and never anything less.
Our desire is to complete our European tour with the same passion in which we started it!
We knew embarking on this tour could present many new obstacles and potential issues, which had been unknown to us on previous tours. Please know we are doing everything in our power to work through these unprecedented challenges. We are a close-knit band, we love each other, and we love you. We appreciate you, and as always we thank you for your support!
We sincerely apologize to our Spanish fans for unavoidably having to cancel tonight’s show.
8. Our reply was that the statement was useless, because it didn’t give any explanation as to why the show had been cancelled. The audience deserves respect and has a right to know. We insisted they should send us a statement with the real reason for the cancellation and the justification for it and that we were not going to post their statement because we felt it was disrespectful to the fans, as it seemed that they cancelled the show simply because they didn’t feel like coming to Cartagena. But they kept insisting on posting their nonsensical press release, without giving any further explanation.
9. We warned them that, if they had cancelled the show with no justified cause, they would have incurred in a serious breach of contract, thus damaging the fans, the organisation, etc.
10. At that moment, they threatened us with denigrating the organisation, with absurd and unfounded complaints about organisational problems in order to be able to perform their show. An absolute lie, as their equipment was almost ready for the soundcheck. In fact, 42 out of the 43 scheduled bands performed without any problems at all. And exactly the only ones claiming problems are Whitesnake, who apparently did not even travel to Cartagena and flew straight from Nantes to Milan? And exactly when we mention their breach of contract, they then threaten to spread these absurd complaints, about which they had said absolutely nothing until then?
11. At the time of writing this statement, we still don’t know why Whitesnake didn’t travel to Cartagena to play, leaving all their Spanish fans stranded and trying to justify it with excuses, but not giving a justification.
It has been a fantastic first edition of the festival thanks to ALL OF YOU and all the bands involved, as well as to an incredible team of people behind the scenes who have worked very hard to offer the highest organisational level possible even for a first edition, considering everything that this entails. Do we have things to improve? Of course, we are already taking note of all your comments and for next year a lot of improvements will be made, no doubt about it. But we are absolutely disappointed and sad that the poor behaviour of a great band like Whitesnake, who have left us and YOU their fans stranded, have tarnished the image of the festival in such an unfair way.
Cartagena, we will be back in 2023 and we will be bigger and better.