By Jon Wiederhorn
It seemed, perhaps, overly optimistic when Mumford & Sons said they would be able to play the June 15 headline slot at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival just four days after announcing that their bassist Ted Dwayne was receiving treatment for a blood clot on his brain.
While Dwayne has been discharged from the hospital, he will not be able to play at Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee after all. The band has canceled its appearance, and organizers have filled the slot with Jack Johnson.
"I called my band and asked if they were up for it," Johnson said in a statement. "Long story short — they are headed this way. I've got a lot of lyrics and chords to re-learn by Saturday night.
"I was here to play the first Bonnaroo, and it is a very special festival to my band," he added. "We are excited to hit the stage again. Get well Ted."
Johnson last headlined Bonnaroo in 2008. He was already scheduled to be in Manchester for a small secret press show to promote his new album From Here to Now To You, which comes out in September, so he was able to adjust his schedule.
Mumford & Sons originally canceled just three shows – Dallas; Woodlands, Texas; and New Orleans – but the London-based folk rock outfit ultimately decided to cancel the rest of their tour, including the Telluride Festival in Colorado on June 21 and at the Cricket Wireless Amphitheater in Bonner Springs, Kansas on June 17. The band plans to resume its tour June 30 at the Glastonbury Festival in Pilton, UK.
As for Dwayne, fans can be assured he's recovering nicely. "The surgery went well, and the excellent medical team helping [Dwayne] are very pleased with his progress," said the band. "He has been nothing short of heroic in how he has handled the whole ordeal, and now it has been medically proved that he does indeed have a brain."
Mumford & Sons recently worked with Elvis Costello on a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "The Ghost of Tom Joad," which they performed as part of the agit8 political program created by the poverty-fighting organization, ONE.