Rugby music fest rocked by Mayweather vs McGregor fight - but show goes on without Imelda May

Imelda May earlier in the summer at Cornbury. NNL-171107-100358001
Imelda May earlier in the summer at Cornbury. NNL-171107-100358001

Rugby’s biggest music event in years was unexpectedly rocked this evening, Friday, by the Mayweather vs McGregor in Las Vegas.

Down on the Close takes place at Rugby School tomorrow, Saturday, August 26, with a string of big names in a one-day festival.

But the person attracting the big publicity has been Imelda May, riding high on the back of a new image and new sound.

But organisers were forced to release a statement earlier this evening, Friday, saying the star had pulled out.

Rumours had been swirling that May had been inivted to sing the Irish national anthem at the biggest fight night in years – and the singer’s own Facebook statement confirmed the Down on the Close team was now left needing a replacement at exceedingly short notice, while not formally confirming the big fight rumour that everybody now seems to believe has caused the problem

The festival Facebook page has now issued the following statement:

‘Hi All,

As many of you are now aware, it is with great surprise and regret that the organisers of Down on the Close have to announce, at such short-notice, that Imelda May is unable to perform at the event, tomorrow.

We apologise for not getting back to you all personally this evening, but we are working hard tonight to explore the legal position and other factors surrounding this news.

We are devastated, as we are sure lots of Imelda May fans are, about this short-notice cancellation, however we do understand why Imelda has made the decision to accept this new opportunity… the details of which she will be announcing via her own platforms.

We understand that fans of Imelda May will be disappointed to hear of this last-minute programme change, but please come along and join us for what is set to be a spectacular night of music from the other great acts who will all still be there and we are proud to have on our stage.

We will be announcing a replacement act for you all tomorrow morning.

Please find an official statement from Imelda May, to her fans, below:

“Regrettably, Imelda May is no longer able to perform at ‘Down On The Close: Festival In A Night’ this Saturday 26th August. Imelda would like to apologise to those attending the Festival and wishes them all a fantastic evening.

“I am very sorry to announce that I’m unable to perform at the 450th school anniversary in Rugby tomorrow. I was really looking forward to it, and hate to cancel on you all so last minute but I have just been offered a once in a lifetime opportunity that I can’t turn down. I hope you will understand.

Love Imelda x”

A personal message from our Organiser:

I am deeply sorry about having to break this news to you this evening. We will put on a great show for you guys in a safe and friendly environment in the grounds of a legendary venue. We need to look at the refund position and are unable to comment on this any further tonight, without taking advice. That’s all that we can say at this stage due to ongoing advice from our legal team. I will be at the event and I am happy to discuss the position. We wish that Imelda was there too, but we are all excited to be spending the evening with the programmed acts who will be putting on a fantastic show.

We hope that you still enjoy yourselves and turn up with a smile on your face.

Much love

Lee’