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Tom Jones cancels Turku show due to illness

Jari Sillanpää and three other Finnish stars of yesteryear have been booked to replace the Welsh veteran in south-west Finland.

Tom Jones
Tom Jones, 78, has enjoyed new popularity due to recent TV appearances. Image: Csaba Krizsan / EPA

Tom Jones, headliner of this year’s DBTL festival in Turku, is unable to appear on Wednesday due to illness, organisers said on Tuesday.

According to Wales Online, the 78-year-old, who has been touring the world since May, was hospitalised last week with a bacterial infection. He has already missed four UK shows.

Tom Jones scored his first hit with "It's Not Unusual" in 1965. In recent years he has appeared as a judge on British ITV’s talent show The Voice.

The south-western city of Turku has arranged ’Down By The Laituri’ (Down By The Quay’) on and around the banks of the River Aura since 1988. Originally a rock festival, it has expanded to include mostly-domestic pop, hip-hop and reggae music.

DBTL impresario Henri Kulmala tells Yle that a major artist’s last-minute cancellation is always a tough situation for organisers.

“Unfortunately we do have to face cancellations from time to time, and it’s always a great disappointment to people. It’s difficult to replace these stars anymore at that point,” he says.

Fans offered partial refund

In this case, standing in for Jones will be no fewer than four Finnish male stars of yesteryear: Danny, Frederik and Tapani Kansa, who are touring as Finnhittien kuninkaat (‘the Kings of Finnhits,’ referring to a series of pop compilation records of the 1970s and ‘80s), as well as Jari Sillanpää, who is a generation younger. He has been a megastar since winning the annual Tango contest in 1995, but his career has foundered following several detentions on drug and other offences since last autumn.

DBTL is offering Jones fans who are dissatisfied with the new line-up a chance to get a 50 percent refund on the price of their tickets.

Five years ago, after Finnish appearances by a clearly unwell 87-year-old Chuck Berry, the Consumer Disputes Board ruled that audiences are entitled to a refund if a concert does not meet its advance billing.

This past weekend’s Pori Jazz Festival was also forced to find a replacement when US jazz pianist Carla Bley, 82, cancelled her appearance due to poor health. She too was replaced by domestic artists.

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