It has been confirmed that ZZ Top will bring the XXX tour to Europe. It kicks off in the U.K. June 3 with three theatre-sized shows at Manchester Apollo, Doncaster Dome and Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London.

The band will play a further 28 dates in Europe, including festivals and arenas in all key territories, as well as Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria.

The Bjorn Again phenomenon shows no sign of slowing. The band’s 40-date spring tour of the U.K. had a great start and is expected to sell out at most venues. Bjorn Again will return to play a further 50 dates around the country this autumn and will headline a Wembley Arena show December 19.

The hugely successful tribute act (one of the first to take the tribute phenomenon beyond the cabaret circuit) is in its 12th year and has done around 1,900 show in 43 countries – a feat made possible by the three teams of incredibly hardworking Bjorn Again outfits.

The first ever full-length documentary of the group, “ABBA: BJÖRN AGAIN,” which first aired in the U.K. last October, has been nominated as best documentary of 1999 at the Golden Rose of Montreux Film Awards.

Bjorn Again manager John Tyrrell has been approached by a film producer to discuss a major film featuring the band.


The Three Tenors concert in Hamburg has been canceled. The show was scheduled for June 16 at the Volksparkstadion but promoters DEAG and Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur announced they could not find a suitable orchestra and conductor. Therefore, they decided to postpone it till next year.

Refunds were being offered as no date or location had been secured for 2001. Around 14,000 tickets out of a total capacity of 40,000 were sold. The promoters said this level of ticket sales was satisfactory but newspaper reports criticised the high ticket prices. The cost ranged from around DM200 to DM1,000 for a VIP ticket.

These reports were played down by a DEAG spokesperson who said it was only an issue as far as the local papers in the city of Hamburg were concerned and that the ticket price was not relevant as the show was more about giving the audience high-quality entertainment.


Jazz A Vienne celebrates its 20th anniversary June 30- July 13. Over the last two decades, the festival has risen to become a key stop on the summer jazz circuit in Europe with greats such as Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, John McLauglin, Oscar Peterson, and many more having played there.

This year’s programme will include performances from Sting, Cheb Mami, Diana Krall, Tony Bennett, Michael Brecker and Pat Metheny, the McCoy Tyner Trio, and Youssou N’Dour.

Last year, more than 150,000 people attended the festival, which takes over the town. As well as the headline acts performing at the open-air Roman Amphitheatre, there are numerous smaller gigs in cafes and bars, and on street corners.


The Blue Balls Festival, formerly known as the Luzerner Blues Session, has finalised its summer lineup. Now in its eighth year, the festival continues to grow and has been extended from six to nine days with 65 gigs taking place in Luzerne beginning July 21.

Around 45,000 people are expected to attend, which will boost the profile of the festival. Event organizers like to see the event as a “second Montreux” in the German-speaking part of Switzerland.

The bill features performances exclusive to the Swiss market: Natalie Cole; G. Love & Special Sauce; Billy Cobham and the London Jazz Orchestra; The Priory of Brion featuring Robert Plant; Ismael Lo; Anouk; Sabrina Setlur; Keb’ Mo’; and Peter Green. The festival will also include the premiere of a photo exhibit titled “The Rolling Stones Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus” from 1968 that features rare pictures of Jethro Tull, Yoko Ono, John Lennon, The Who, Marianne Faithfull, Taj Mahal, and Eric Clapton.


The Couleur Café Festival (July 30 – July 2) has finalised most of its bill. The three-day event in Brussels will present an eclectic weekend with themed musical bills. The reggae night will feature Alpha Blondy, The Wailers, Massilia Sound System, The Skatalites, Postmen, Les Go de Koteba, and Panache Culture.

The funky groove party night includes international stars such as Meshell Ndegéocello, Candy Dulfer, Asian Dub Foundation, Ronny Jordan, Fred Wesley, and Herbaliser. There will also be a new cross-cultural project with Belgian and Cuban artists under the banner Cuban Groove, and Belgian acts PP 30 and Tomaz & Co.

The final day will close with World in Town featuring Youssou N’Dour, AfroCuban AllStars, Sergeant Garcia, Amadou and Mariam, Orishas, L. Santo, Funk ‘n’ Lata, Mousta Largo, and a special tribute to Fela Kuti.


Blue Rodeo’s fourth annual Stardust Picnic in Toronto will be held July 8-9 at Historic Fort York, promoter Eggplant Entertainment announced. The lineup includes Colin James and the Little Big Band, Iris DeMent, Blue Mountain, and Tara MacLean. Side-stage performers will be announced shortly.

There will also be a vendor village and food stalls with a variety of cuisine on site. Stardust Picnic will not hit the road this year.