Avast: The Specials’ Central Park SummerStage Show Is Cancelled


Been a lousy summer for visa-issue concert cancellations, from Joao Gilberto to Buena Vista Social Club to any dancehall star you’d care to name. Your latest casualties: ska titans the Specials, who’ve scotched their August 22 SummerStage gig far in advance, at least. The full statement below:


August Central Park Summerstage Cancelled

Look for US Tour Dates in 2011

The Specials will not be appearing at a free show on Sunday, August 22 at Central Park Summerstage due to visa issues. The legendary ska pioneers will, however, play their scheduled Toronto date on Friday, August 27 at Sound Academy and plan to return to the US in early 2011 for additional dates.

After a 30-year hiatus, UK ska pioneers The Specials returned to the States for a week of sold-out Los Angeles and New York dates as well as a rousing, triumphant appearance at the Coachella Festival in Indio, CA, proving that their songs, with lyrics about poverty, violence, racism, and domestic discontent, are just as relevant and timely today. With rave reviews for all their US appearances, fans and critics agreed that the influential band’s blend of punk, ska and reggae is as punchy and potent as ever.

Despite a brief career, the Coventry band lit up the late 70’s like a comet, scoring eight top ten singles, including two number ones for the “Too Much Too Young” live EP and the era defining “Ghost Town.” They had two Top 5 albums and spawned a retrospective list of compilation and live albums from official releases to much sought-after bootlegs. Their melding of punk and ska creating the 2-Tone sound that still today is held up as an influence by bands across the world, having inspired the massively popular ska scene of southern California in the 90s.

The Specials are currently playing festival dates in Europe and Scandinavia; for more information check out the band’s official site at