DISCLAIMER [4/2/19]: We had some fun on April Fool’s day. Led Zeppelin is not, in fact, playing at Jazz Fest.
UPDATE [4/4/19]: Fleetwood Mac will fill in for The Rolling Stones at Jazz Fest. Head here for details.
UPDATE [4/8/19]: Fleetwood Mac has canceled their Jazz Fest appearance along with the rest of their upcoming tour dates as Stevie Nicks recovers from the flu. Widespread Panic has been added to the Jazz Fest lineup as their replacement. Head here for details.
Over the weekend, news broke that The Rolling Stones postponed their upcoming U.S./Canada tour because Mick Jagger “needs medical treatment.” Doctors have advised Mick that he is “expected to make a complete recovery so that he can get back on stage as soon as possible.”
Perhaps the biggest fallout from the Stones’ postponed tour is the cancelation of their highly-anticipated performance at the 50th New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on May 2nd. The festival even made changes to its long-running format to accommodate The Rolling Stones’ performance, adding an additional day with a separate, more expensive ticket which quickly sold out. In the wake of the cancellation, fans have been left to wonder who might fill the headlining vacancy—and whether or not a passable substitute for one of the greatest bands in history even exists, particularly on such short notice.
Today, the festival’s organizers announced their solution, and it surely does not disappoint: Led Zeppelin will reunite to headline on Thursday, May 2nd at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Led Zeppelin’s Jazz Fest performance will mark the band’s first official performance since the December 10, 2007 show at London’s 02 Arena, immortalized by the lauded 2012 concert film/live album Celebration Day. Much like the Celebration Day reunion, Led Zeppelin’s Jazz Fest performance will feature surviving members Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones, as well as Jason Bonham, the son of late original drummer John Bonham.
The reunion comes as a shock to Led Zeppelin fans everywhere. Until now, the band seemingly had no interest in reuniting. Their 50th anniversary in 2018 came and went without a live reunion, though they did mark the milestone with a variety of promotional releases including an illustrated book, various apparel ventures, a special re-issue of The Song Remains The Same, and more.
Led Zeppelin reportedly had no plans to play together again, but when the Stones had to cancel, it created a unique opportunity for the band to play a proper 50th-anniversary show. In the (paraphrased) words of Mick Jagger, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you might find you get Led Zeppelin.'”
Get well soon, Mick!