Monday, January 17, 2022

And I think it's gonna be a long, long time...

"Do you think he's going to cancel again?"  SIL asked me when we saw her last week. 

"He" = Elton John. You may (or may not) recall that back in the fall of 2019, I flew to Manitoba, partly to spend (Canadian) Thanksgiving with my family, and partly to go to an Elton John concert with my sister. He'd been in Toronto earlier in the year, and later that fall, it was announced he'd be in Toronto again, in late March 2020 (March 28th & 29th) at the Scotiabank Arena (formerly the Air Canada Centre) downtown. SIL said she thought she'd like to go, and asked me if I wanted to go with her, and I managed to snag us a pair of tickets for the March 29th show (at about $250 each -- gulp -- and these weren't the prime seats, either!).  

Well, you all know what happened. COVID-19 descended up on us, the pandemic was declared on March 11th, and the concert was postponed indefinitely on March 16th. By the fall, new dates were announced:  our tickets were now valid for Feb. 15, 2022 (the second of two Toronto dates, including Feb. 14th... there are also two dates in Montreal, on Feb. 18th & 19th). Okay, fine. The pandemic would be long over by then, right? 

So here we are, mid-January 2022. Feb. 14th/15th is a month away. The pandemic is as bad as/the worst it's ever been. Capacity restrictions are once again in place for public venues -- the Scotiabank Arena, which can hold about 20,000 people, is only allowed to seat 1,000 people (fully vaccinated and masked people, at that). Rather than sorting out who gets those 1,000 seats among the 20,000 who bought tickets, the Maple Leafs (hockey) and Raptors (basketball) teams have chosen to play their scheduled games in a completely empty arena. I can't imagine things are going to improve enough over the next few weeks to allow those limits to be lifted.  Between now & then, besides Leafs and Raptors games, the arena was supposed to be hosting Disney on Ice later this month, and a concert by the Offspring & Simple Plan on Feb. 8th. The ice show has been postponed to late August/early September, and the Offspring concert has been cancelled outright (and ticket money refunded).

Meanwhile, Elton's North American tour is (still) scheduled to resume on Jan. 19th in New Orleans -- two days from now. So I guess he's going ahead with it -- the U.S. dates, at least. (I know things are different there, at least in some locations, in terms of capacity limits, vaccination policies, etc.)  Toronto and Montreal are the only two Canadian dates (although he's scheduled to return to Toronto again on Sept. 7th, as well as Vancouver on Oct. 21st) -- and, if anything, the restrictions in Quebec are even stricter than they are here in Ontario. So far we haven't heard a thing about whether the concerts are going ahead, or going to be postponed (again), cancelled...??  He does have dates booked into July 2023 in Europe, so there's some scope for the Canadian dates to be rescheduled (again!). 

I'm sure this tour has gone on a LOT longer than he originally planned when he first announced it. I know he doesn't want to disappoint his fans -- but he's almost 75 years old, and he has two young sons at home that he's said he wants to spend more time with. He had hip surgery last fall while he was on hiatus from touring, and he's had numerous other health issues over the years. I'm sure he doesn't want to expose himself to undue risk.  

I'll be honest -- *I* don't want to expose myself to undue risk either. Even if (by some miracle) the shows do go ahead, I'm not really sure I want to go anymore ($250 or not) -- not until covid is long gone, or at least until case rates are way, WAY lower than they are right now. The idea of taking a packed subway downtown (a 45-minute trip -- parking around the arena is a nightmare), making our way through a crowded Union Station (the arena is next door and connected), and then sitting in a crowded arena with up to 20,000 people -- some probably (likely!) not entirely compliant with the mask mandate, and others still removing their masks from time to time to eat and drink -- simply does not appeal right now, with Omicron still running rampant -- even though I'm full vaxxed and boosted, even if I kept my N95 mask on the entire time. Unlike SIL, I, at least, have seen Elton in concert. I don't NEED to see him again. Although I'm not sure SIL is keen on going either, the way things are right now. 

I'm sure we WILL be hearing something soon, and probably sooner vs later. It's just hard to be in limbo. (But hey, isn't that what we've been doing for the past two years already?) 


  1. Limbo... we are all getting too familiar with it!

    I keep seeing events planned for the spring and summer. I feel for the organizers who are probably biting their nails.

    I just have to say I love the way you titled this post :-)

  2. So the Toronto & Montreal dates have been postponed again... Montreal on March 9 & 10, and Toronto on March 12 & 13. Our tickets are now good for March 13th... almost exactly two years out from the original concert date! Personally, I think that's still highly optimistic... but we'll see...!

  3. I hate limbo! Fingers crossed that case rates improve dramatically. I can certainly understand not wanting to be surrounded by people at the moment.