Changes: Laneway, Bill Maher, Blue Ridge BBQ

Young Thug pulls out of Australia’s Laneway festival series … Bill Maher promises a new show after standing up a near-capacity crowd … Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival is called off by local officials after 23 years

HBO, Janet Van Ham/AP, file
– Bill Maher
On the set of  “Real Time with Bill Maher” in Los Angeles.

St. Jerome’s Laneway Festivalin Australia will no longer include performances from Young Thug, who said he wouldn’t make it due to visa problems.

St. Jerome’s opened up with a Jan. 21 gig in Singapore and will continue in Melbourne on Jan. 28. The festival also makes stops in Auckland, New Zealand, and in the Australian cities of Adelaide, Lilyfield and Fremantle.

This would have been Thugger’s first time down under. The lineup still includes Tycho, Car Seat Headrest, Tame Impala, Whitney and Bob Moses. Brisbane-born band Dune Rats are hopping into the spot vacated by Young Thug.

Tickets to the event are still available. Learn more at

Bill Maher had to cancel Sunday’s performance at Music Hall At Fair Park in Dallas because of travel problems.

People had filled the venue to hear the satirist’s political-themed humor, but 10 minutes before showtime it was announced Maher couldn’t make it, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The comedian issued an apology on Twitter, saying the delay was due to mechanical issues with his plane. Today he wrote a lengthier statement on his Facebook, promising to return and saying he simply didn’t how to get everyone their money back, but he wouldn’t profit from the affair and would donate the money to charity.

“[W]hile its not exactly my fault, I want you to know I very much consider it my Responsibility to make it up to you as best I can. Of course I’m going to come back and do the show as soon as is humanly possible, pending availability of the venue, etc, but I want you to know that I also realize that there’s more to the expense of going to a show than just the ticket – people get babysitters, and sometimes people drive from longer distances or even fly in, they get hotel rooms. And of course, some people just won’t be able to make the make- up show. The whole thing sucks.”

No official word on any makeup show, but Maher does have a North American routing from February to July that mostly sticks to the Southwest. is the man’s website.

The Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival in North Carolina has been called off due to declines in attendance and financial challenges.

The decision came from the Carolina Foothills Chamber of Commerce, after a recommendation to call the affair off was made at a Jan. 18 festival committee meeting, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported.

The event functioned as a fundraiser for the Chamber of Commerce, but reportedly did not meet its financial goals for the last three years. 2017 would have marked the festival’s 24th year.

“With the declining attendance coupled with increased potential insurance costs, it became painfully obvious that we needed to take a break and rethink how the festival should continue,” Chamber President Kathy Toomey told the Citizen-Times.

The festival is still hoping for a return in 2018.

The paper also reported that paid attendance had gone from 12,000 in 2012 to 7,499 in 2016. The festival reportedly had an economic impact between $750,000 and more than $1 million annually and was supposed to feature big-name musicians this year, but the decision was made that it was too much to pull off.

Last year’s event featured performances from The Marcus King Band, Sister Sparrow And The Dirty Birds, and Silver Travis.