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Ian Brown drops out of Neighbourhood Weekender 2021 over COVID regulations

The Stone Roses’ frontman Ian Brown has reportedly dropped out of headlining the Warrington-based Neighbourhood Weekender.

58-year-old Warrington-born Ian Brown had been scheduled to headline the popular indie music festival, which had been postponed to Friday 3rd of September, alongside acts such as Gerry Cinnamon, Sam Fender, and Catfish and the Bottlemen.

The announcement of Brown dropping out of the festival came via Twitter on 3rd March, tweeted simultaneously as the festival announced the new confirmed line up.

This tweet follows many tweets made by Ian Brown through 2020 and 2021, displaying staunch conspiracy theories, anti-lockdown, anti-science, and anti-vaccine views.

Tweets throughout 2021 and 2020 included:

Brown, who met fame in the 1990s as the frontman of Madchester icons The Stones Roses, had many top hits with the band such as ‘I Wanna Be Adored’, ‘Waterfall’, and ‘Fools Gold‘. The band established themselves as one of the most influential groups to emerge from Manchester in the 1990s. They disbanded in 1996, before reforming between 2012 and 2017 (including a world tour, two new singles in 2016, and several sold-out concerts at Heaton Park and the Etihad stadium).

The ‘F.E.A.R‘ singer also released an “anti-lockdown” song named ‘Little Seed Big Tree’. The song itself appeared to be rife with conspiracial theories element in its lyrics, such as “masonic lockdown in your hometown”, “a forced vaccine, like a bad dream // They’ll plant a microchip, every woman, child and man”, and “5G radiation”, all reflecting the various debunked theories regarding COVID-19 and the UK lockdowns.

Brown’s comments have been met with ridicule from across the spectrum, varying from political commentators such as Piers Morgan, to X-Factor Icons Jedward, to the Stone Roses’ former guitarist John Squire. Squire tweeted “Wear a mask. Stay safe. Look after yourself and others” in response to one of Brown’s tweets in 2020.

John Squire responded to one of Ian Brown’s tweets last year.

Neighbourhood Weekender has announced that another Madchester Icon band James will now take over Ian Brown’s headlining set instead. James, who rose to fame with songs such as “Sit down” and “Laid”, have announced their 16th album set to be released on the 4th of June, and will be supporting the Happy Mondays during their December 2021 UK tour.

Some tickets remain available for Neighbourhood Weekender and can be purchased here.

What do you think about Ian Brown’s decision to drop out of the festival? Let us know @pieradiouk

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