Both weekends of Playing In The Sand have officially been canceled, Dead & Company and promoter CID Presents announced on Thursday afternoon. The 2022 edition of the Mexican destination event was due to take place in two installments, January 7th–10th and January 13th–16th.

As the band noted in a cancellation announcement,

With much sadness and after great consideration of every possible scenario, the Playing in the Sand shows in Riviera Cancun on January 7-10 and January 13-16 have now been canceled by CID Presents due to the spiking COVID-19 cases. Dead & Company and CID Presents tried everything possible to bring normalcy and to deliver a great experience and amazing music, but with each day it became increasingly clear that canceling is the correct thing to do for the fans and for our crew. Please refer to the Playing in the Sand email that will be sent shortly with all details about refunds. See you soon, hug your loved ones, stay safe and be kind. 

The cancellation of the two-part 2022 Playing In The Sand follows a recent flurry of announcements and change-ups from the event.

Last Wednesday, December 29th, the band and CID announced that they were moving forward with the event but would give fans the option to take a refund as Omicron cases continued to spike.

Then, this past Monday, drummer Bill Kreutzmann announced that he would not be making the trip to Mexico for either weekend of Playing In The Sand due to a non COVID-related medical issue. The original Grateful Dead drummer had previously been forced to miss several stops on Dead & Company’s 2021 fall tour including two nights at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, another pair of shows at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre in Denver, and the band’s tour-closing Halloween show at Hollywood Bowl.

Next up was Wednesday night’s news that John Mayer had tested positive for COVID-19 prior to traveling to Mexico. With the Dead & Company guitarist out of play for at least weekend one, the band announced that Tom Hamilton (Ghost Light, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Billy & The Kids) would fill in for weekend one.

Now, as guests continue to arrive in Mexico for the event—which was set to kick off in earnest tomorrow—both weekends have been called off entirely.

A representative from the band confirmed to Live For Live Music that event organizers would reach out to package-holders who are already onsite with more information and next steps regarding refunds.

[UPDATE 1/7/21]: CID Presents has detailed its contingency plan for Playing In The Sand package-holders who had already traveled to Mexico or still had travel accommodations booked. Per the email sent to ticket-holders, re: January 7th–10th, “Guests already at Moon Palace or who wish to vacation as originally planned are welcome to do so, and a full refund will still be provided.”

Ticket package purchasers for January 13th–16th have two options: skip the trip and get a full refund or keep their reservation and travel to Moon Palace as planned. Those who head to Mexico as planned will receive a refund on their package minus $600 per night spent at the resort. Read the full note from the CID Presents team below.


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