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Coachella affected by volcanic ash closing European airports; Frightened Rabbit, Cribs, Los Campesinos! grounded

April 15, 2010 |  3:16 pm


It's not unusual for a grizzly rocker to show up for a show covered in ash -- cigarette ash, that is -- but how about volcanic ash?

According to reports from London, all British airports have been shut down today, due to drifting ash burped out by an Icelandic volcano with the fearsome name of Eyjafjallajokull. In addition to interfering with visibility, the ash, pictured above in a photo from NASA, can also clog engines. Air traffic has also been halted over Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, stranding tens of thousands of travelers -- including some musicians due to play Coachella.

But don't worry, Gorillaz, PiL, Muse and the Specials are already here. "All the headliners are in the country," Goldenvoice's Paul Tollett said in a brief statement, "and we're in contact with the acts that are having travel issues based on the ash."

Though Goldenvoice representatives state they are currently sorting out who's grounded outside the U.S., Pop & Hiss has confirmed that Frightened Rabbit has been affected by the closure, the biggest of its kind since 9/11. 

"We don't know what's happening," publicist Juliana Plotkin said. "They're in London right now. At least we have a glimmer of hope -- they're not scheduled to play until Saturday at 2:45 p.m."

What happens if they miss their time slot? "I don't think anyone knows," Plotkin said. "I don't know how Goldenvoice will handle it."

Goldenvoice hasn't said yet what will be its strategy if they have a few of the mid-level but nonetheless exciting acts missing in action. NME reports that the Cribs and Los Campesinos! are also stuck in the UK, hoping for two wings and a prayer.

-- Margaret Wappler

Photo: An image captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite of the plume of ash over Northern Europe. Credit: HO/AFP/Getty Images