Live Music

Chemical Brothers says touring US is unaffordable

Featured image credit: Republic Records

Grammy Award-winning duo The Chemical Brothers have said touring the US is “not viable” due to rising costs.

The British group, who enjoyed two No.1 hits in the UK in the 1990s, outlined the challenges facing bands wanting to go on the road in the North American market in an interview with Billboard.

While plans to massively hike US touring visas were eventually overturned earlier this year, inflationary pressures are impacting plans in that market. While they have closed the door on the US for now, the duo is about to embark on a tour that will take in Ibiza, the UK, Ireland, Japan and Mexico between next month and March 2024.

Tour outlays are not helped by a set that features two giant robots and high-tech laser displays.

“The costs have gone up so much,” member Ed Simons said of touring in the US post-pandemic. “It’s just not really viable at the moment… I’m apologetic to the people who do want to see us that it is increasingly difficult for us to get to America, because we have had the times of our lives playing there.

“[The production] originally came from the fact that we didn’t want to inflict [audiences with] just the two of us awkwardly standing with the synthesizers, so we wanted a big back job, but it’s just grown and grown, and now we’ve got these 40-foot clowns voicing the words.”