JOLIET – The Joliet Park District is looking for a new headline act for the first night of Taste of Joliet after Huey Lewis and the News canceled all performances for the rest of the year.
“We found out late last night and started working on it this morning,” Park District deputy director Brad Staab said.
Staab said a refund policy for the Huey Lewis performance likely will be in place by Monday.
“Of course, we will offer free refunds to everyone who purchased tickets,” he said.
Staab called the development “disappointing, but it’s part of the festival business.”
The band was scheduled to perform at 9 p.m. June 22 at the event at Joliet Memorial Stadium.
Staab had said in January, when the act was announced, that Huey Lewis was a performer Tastegoers wanted.
Huey Lewis and the News announced Friday that the band was canceling all future performances in 2018.
“Two and a half months ago, just before a show in Dallas, I lost most of my hearing,” Lewis said in a statement on the band’s website. “Although I can still hear a little, one on one and on the phone, I can’t hear music well enough to sing.”
Lewis said lower frequencies distort, making it difficult to find pitch. The singer visited the House Ear Institute, the Stanford Ear Institute and the Mayo Clinic, according to the statement. Doctors believe he has Meniere’s disease and asked him not to perform until he improves.
“Therefore, the only prudent thing to do is to cancel all future shows,” Lewis said. “Needless to say, I feel horrible about this, and wish to sincerely apologize to all the fans who’ve already bought tickets and were planning to come see us. I’m going to concentrate on getting better and hope that one day soon I’ll be able to perform again.”