In a sign of the continuing chaos in the concert industry over COVID protocols, the Foo Fighters announced an Aug. 3 concert at the University of Minnesota's Huntington Bank Stadium — then abruptly pulled it from the venue Tuesday over a disagreement on vaccine requirements.
A new Twin Cities location is being sought.
"Due to Huntington Bank Stadium's refusal to agree to the band's COVID policies, Foo Fighters are not going to be able to play at that venue," the group's statement read. "We apologize for any inconvenience and are working on finding a suitable replacement — one that will prioritize the health and safety of everyone working and attending the show."
While the U has required students to be vaccinated since October (aside from medical or religious exceptions), Huntington Bank Stadium did not mandate masks, proof of vaccine or negative test results for Gopher football fans. Masks are required for indoor events at the university, however.
A university spokesman confirmed the stadium did not want to change its policies for this one concert.
"The university declined to change its existing protocols for large events, which have been effective," public relations director Jake Ricker said via e-mail, noting the school's high vaccination rate (more than 95% of its campus population. "We continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated, wear a mask when in large crowds, and take appropriate steps to protect public and personal health."
Most Twin Cities concert venues that don't already require vaccination or a negative test have agreed to such a policy if performers ask for it. Xcel Energy Center, for instance, instituted a vaccine/test requirement as well as a mask mandate at Harry Styles' request for his sold-out concert in September, with relatively few hiccups.
The most prominent local exception has been Mystic Lake Casino. The Jonas Brothers still performed there despite asking for proof of vaccine, but Elvis Costello moved his gig to First Avenue last month to fulfill his safety protocols.
It appears the Foo Fighters are making the same play as Costello — though probably not to First Avenue, which is a co-promoter of the Twin Cities date along with Chicago's Jam Productions.
The Foos, who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame a month ago, announced the Minneapolis gig Tuesday morning as part of a 16-city tour. It would have been the first big concert in five years at the recently renamed Huntington Bank Stadium, which was popular with concertgoers before the lull.
Formerly TCF Bank Stadium, the 50,000-capacity, open-air venue hosted the Rolling Stones' and U2's best-received Twin Cities concerts of the 21st century as well as memorable appearances by Beyoncé and One Direction.
Tickets to the Foo show were scheduled to go on sale 10 a.m. Friday through AXS.com, but the ticket portal was shut down Tuesday afternoon.
The Twins will be home at Target Field the first week of August, so U.S. Bank Stadium seems the most likely candidate for the show. But the Foos' tour itinerary has enough gaps to allow moving the Minneapolis date to a different week next summer.
It's been three years since the Foo Fighters played here, going back to a marathon-paced date at Xcel Energy Center. Even without touring, the band has had an eventful year, with a new album ("Medicine at Midnight") and Grohl's bestselling memoir ("The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music") along with their Paul McCartney-led induction into the Rock Hall on Oct. 30 in the group's first year of eligibility.