On Saturday (17 June), Robbie Williams paused his set at Pinkpop Festival in Landgraaf, the Netherlands, while facing long Covid symptoms.
After covering the Wilson Pickett tune, Land Of 1000 Dances – the third song in his set – Williams appeared out of breath and stopped his band as they began playing the intro to his 2002 track, Monsoon.
“No, stop, stop,” he said. “I’m fucked. I’m fucked. It’s long Covid; I’ve got long Covid."
Addressing the audience with a joking attitude, he added, "It’s not my fucking age, you fuckers.”
He then continued his set, performing 15 more songs, including a medley-filled encore that went through Let Me Entertain You, Strong, Come Undone, Feel and Angels. Williams was back in the UK on Sunday, headlining the Isle Of Wight festival without incident.
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Robbie Williams has had two public experiences with Covid-19, with the first happening pre-vaccine. In April 2020, Williams reported feeling “lethargic, tired and heavy” as he isolated away from his family in an Airbnb in Los Angeles. He informed his fans of the isolation at the time, per news.com.au: “The mental struggle has been the hardest bit about isolation, making sure we don’t slip into our own dark holes.”
In January 2021, while holidaying with his family on the Caribbean Island of St Barts, Williams caught Covid-19 again, assuring fans, “I was good, and I will be good,” via the Daily Star.
In November, Australian rock royalty Icehouse postponed a Sidney Myer Music Bowl show following singer Iva Davies contracting Covid-19. “After what has been a very concerning few months since I contracted Covid-19 and lost my ability to sing for several weeks, I’m pleased to say that my voice has returned,” Davies said in a January update.
A few months earlier, he told fans, “As with so many other Covid sufferers, the effects of the infection are lasting a lot longer than I hoped. The difficulties I am having with breathing mean that I cannot sing for the duration of an ICEHOUSE performance... I want to thank everyone who has sent well-wishing messages for my recovery.”
The WHO (World Health Organisation) defines the symptoms of long Covid as “fatigue, shortness of breath, cognitive dysfunction but also others and generally have an impact on everyday functioning”. Long Covid can appear in people three months after contracting the virus and lasts for at least two months.