Organizers of the Qatar Masters golf tournament have swapped out their headline entertainers less than two weeks before the first tee-off.
US hip-hop group Arrested Development, which gained prominence in the early 1990s with singles that included Mr. Wendel and People Everyday, will perform the evening of Friday, Jan. 29.
The band is taking the spot vacated by Scottish rockers Simple Minds, who were announced as the headliners in early November.
In a short statement this week on the band’s Facebook page, Simple Minds said they were “ready and willing” to play in Qatar but “circumstances completely out of the band’s control” precluded their appearance.
“The band very much regret the disappointment that has been caused to those who were looking forward to seeing them,” the statement added.
Simple Minds’ touring schedule still shows the band scheduled to play in Dubai on Jan. 28.
A spokesperson for the Qatar Masters tournament told Doha News that the cancellation was “beyond the control of organizers” and that “Simple Minds was not available.”
Golfers arriving Sunday
This is the second straight year that the tournament’s entertainment organizers have faced challenges.
In 2015, an appearance by UK reggae band UB40 was cancelled a few hours before the show after Qatar declared a three-day mourning period following the death of Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud.
The Qatar Masters has grown in prominence since its 1998 debut and is expected to attract several major names in golf, including Sergio Garcia and 2015 tournament winner Branden Grace.
Participants will be competing for some US$2.5 million in prize money.
Players are expected to start arriving on Sunday, with the first round scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 27.
Information on how to buy tickets is available on the tournament’s website here.