The Obamas are hosting a star-studded event to ring in the 44th president’s birthday. This weekend, the vent will take place in Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. As part of the festivities, many thought Pearl Jam would perform at the event. But on Monday, a spokesperson for the band announced that isn’t the case.
“Pearl Jam is not performing at Obama’s 60th birthday party this weekend,” Pearl Jam’s spokesperson told Fox News.
The spokesperson didn’t expand on why the band wouldn’t be attending or playing this weekend. While the group is based in Seattle, Washington, lead singer Eddie Vedder grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. He and President Obama have been friendly throughout the years because of their connection to the Windy City. However, Pearl Jam will not be helping Obama ring in his 60th birthday this time around.
Pearl Jam Doesn’t Give Reason For Not Performing, But Spike in COVID Cases May Be a Factor
As news of Obama’s birthday party made headlines recently, many criticized the president for holding the event. The former president supposedly invited 475 of his closest friends and colleagues. They will supposedly include “friends, family and former aides – and 200-plus staff planning to work the part,” according to Axios.
With a huge spike in COVID-19 cases and new guidance on the delta variant, some deemed it hypocritical for them to move forward with the large gathering. There’s no definitive answer as to why Pearl Jam won’t be performing this weekend. Yet the virus and the backlash against the event could’ve played a part in their decision to skip out on it.
Additionally, Axios shared more details on Obama’s birthday party. The party will be an outdoors event, and all guests are asked to be vaccinated. Those who received an invite were also told a COVID-coordinator will be in attendance “to ensure all proper protocols are followed.”
The Axios report also states that “Martha’s Vineyard does not qualify as an area of ‘substantially-high’ risk.” The distinction is important when it comes to the CDC’s recommendations about large crowd gatherings.
Pearl Jam wasn’t the only celebrities expected to be in attendance. Per Axios, legendary director Steven Spielberg is also expected to attend Obama’s 60th birthday party.
Furthermore, Barack Obama is asking for his guests to consider a different form of gift giving instead of asking for personal presents. The former president has asked guests to consider donating to charities in place of taking personal gifts. Obama asked that attendees consider giving to organizations that “support boys and young men of color” here in America. In addition, he asked that guests give to charities that “empower adolescent girls around the world.”