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Wakeman calls off his festival over health concerns

Rick Wakeman has called off his Wakemanfest event over health concerns.

He’s also dropped a piano tour from his 2015 schedule, while a Christmas performance of Journey To The Centre Of The Earth is in doubt, and plans for next year will be curtailed.

It follows what he calls a “serious health scare” that took place earlier this year, after he finally began listening to warnings from his family and management.

Wakeman says on his website: “Although my health has improved, and blood pressure heading the right way, it’s meant that, on advice, I have had to take a really close look at what is currently in for the rest of this year.

“Apart from Wakemanfest, piano dates in Scandinavia currently pencilled for November and December have had to go, and the proposed Journey To The Centre Of The Earth in Tenerife at Christmas is under review.”

He admits: “It’s totally my fault. I allowed the diary to start filling up again and everything stemmed from that. My management, agents and indeed my wife basically read me the riot act – again – and I succumbed to the fact that I really do have to listen.”

But he reports that nothing has been cancelled, just postponed, adding: “Announcements will be made as to new days, early next year, after my next medical.”

Wakemanfest, originally set for the end of October, is set to be rescheduled with all the original artists on board, and the chance that son Adam can join the bill. Meanwhile, he’ll perform with the English Rock Ensemble at Barrow Hill Roundhouse, Chesterfield, as planned on September 11 (Friday).

The former Yes keyboardist continues: “Rachel and I are going to take a holiday – our first one for more than eight years. This is an order from management, agents, doctors, and of course, my lovely wife!”

Q&A: Rick Wakeman