Update: Dead & Company have canceled the Playing in the Sand festival due to the continued surge in COVID cases. “With each day it became increasingly clear that canceling is the correct thing to do for the fans and for our crew,” the band said in a statement. All tickets will be refunded.

— Original Story —

Just before flying to Mexico for Dead & Company’s annual festival Playing in the Sand, John Mayer had to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19. The band shared the news in a social media post, while also announcing that Margo Price would now be joining the rock veterans.

“Today, just prior to leaving for Mexico, per his physician, @JohnMayer tested positive for COVID-19 and will be unable to perform at the upcoming ‘Playing in the Sand’ event in Riviera Cancun January 7-10,” the band wrote.


Mayer becomes the second Dead & Company bandmate to bow out of the festival, after drummer Bill Kreutztmann announced that he would be pulling out due to heart issues. According to the group, “The weekend will now feature Dos Hermanos con Amigos,” referring to founding Grateful Dead members Bob Weir and Mickey Hart. Jeff Chimenti, Oteil Burbridge, Jay Lane and Tom Hamilton Jr. will round out the lineup, along with “special guests and sit-ins.”

One of those special guests sounds pretty pumped. “When @BobWeir texts you and if you want to sit in with Dos Hermanos con Amigos & @deadandcompany you say yes,” Price wrote on Twitter.

Weir added, “We came down here to have fun. Unfortunately some of our brothers cannot make it but fun is what we’re going to have.” The band also promised that, “In these unprecedented times fans should expect many rare and different tunes.” Check out statements on the shakeup below.


Playing in the Sand begins January 7th and runs through January 10th, although packages are sold out. But assuming better health is around the corner, John Mayer will soon be embarking on his 2022 arena tour. Tickets are available here.