Libertines cancel festival dates

United Kingdom United Kingdom | | 10 June 2004

Having checked himself out of the Priory, Doherty performed his final show with the band on June 7. He now faces a rigorous course of rehab at the Thamkrabok Monastery, which is slightly better, we suppose, than facing a stint at Wandsworth Prison - the fate that befell him last summer.

The band have issued a statement saying that festivals in June are off the cards, although normal service will resume in July and August.

The statement reads: "The Libertines have cancelled appearances at London's Meltdown, The Isle Of Wight Festival and the Glastonbury Festival due to the illness of vocalist/guitarist Peter Doherty, who is now recuperating in a Buddhist monastery in Thailand.

"The Libertines apologise to all their fans for the cancellation and hope they understand the exceptional reasons for cancelling."

Singer Carl Barat said: "John, Gary and myself felt that we should not continue with these shows in order to show support for Peter whilst he is recuperating. It has obviously been a very painful period for the band and we wish Peter better more than anything. His health comes first."

The band's other scheduled festival slots in July and August, at T In The Park, Oxegen and the Carling Weekend: Reading and Leeds Festivals are currently still on.

Ardent Libertines fans will still be able to catch drummer Gary Powell, who will perform with the New York Dolls at their two Meltdown appearances at the London Royal Festival Hall on June 16 and 18.

The band's manager Alan McGee said: "We flew Peter to Thailand last night. To be honest his mum, Carlos and myself can't believe he did it but he (is) a man of many surprises. If he's going to get clean permanently anywhere it's in this place.

"We kept him at The Priory under a different name this last week to avoid people staring at his recovery but deep down we knew he wasn't buying. We cleaned him up as best we could and he (of) his own accord agreed to go off to Thailand.

"What happens to the group in the long term who knows as in any event the man we sent out there will come back a different man. He wanted to change and has done something about it. All we ask of you people is keep the faith in Peter Doherty and The Libertines.

"Carlos last night told me Peter's health comes before the band and again you have to love the man left in the UK. The (tabloid press) will no doubt be all on our case today but to say we all jumped for joy last night when his escort texted me and said we are on the plane and all systems are go would be the understatement of this year.

"The man may be away for a month, he may even reject the west and not return. Who knows. All I hope for is he kills his demons and gets better and finds a happy life in The Libertines or in Thailand or wherever happiness lies for him. To be honest his health is the most important thing to everyone involved."

Pete Doherty was famously absent for the band's festival appearances last summer (which included Glastonbury and Reading), following a series of events that led to a brief spell at Her Majesty's Pleasure, for burglary - the victim being his bandmate and best friend Carl Barat!

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