FATBOY SLIM has cancelled plans for a homecoming concert on Brighton beach in September.
The DJ announced yesterday that he would not be appearing on the seafront this year. His free beach concert for 250,000 revellers in 2002 earned worldwide notoriety.
He called off Big Beach Boutique 5, which was due to take place in Madeira Drive over the weekend of September 4 and 5, but said he planned to return next year.
The star, real name Norman Cook, has been recovering from a highly publicised battle with alcoholism and said he would be taking a rest.
The announcement was made in a statement from his management which said: “We’ve decided to take the year off. Norman has a packed schedule for the summer and we wanted to sit back and give ourselves time to come up with some new ideas to make the next show even better. We’ll definitely see you all in 2010.”
Cook, who lives in Western Esplanade, Hove, with his radio presenter wife Zoe Ball, has spoken in the past of his pride at staging the concerts in front of his own community.
He was yesterday on his way to Miami, where he will start a spell of appearances in the US and the Caribbean before returning to Europe for a string of major gigs.
He is currently only scheduled to appear in concert twice this summer, during the V Festival in Chelmsford and Staffordshire in August.
The beach gig cancellation has come as a blow to fans and businesses in Brighton and Hove. They had been waiting for the concert since last September when Cook declared it would take place.
He made the pledge immediately after Big Beach Boutique 4, which attracted about 22,000 ticketholders to Madeira Drive, and had previously talked about playing the beach every year.
Fan Danielle Taylor, 31, from Wivelsfield Green, near Burgess Hill, said: “It’s such a shame it won’t be happening. The Fatboy Slim gigs are a great part of Brighton. They are something people look forward to.”
It has been estimated that the four beach gigs Fatboy staged in 2001, 2002, 2007 and 2008 generated millions of pounds for the city’s economy in money spent by revellers at shops, bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
David Smith, Brighton and Hove City Council’s cabinet member for culture and tourism, said: “It’s a disappointment but under the circumstances you can understand why he has done it.
“It brings a lot of people to the city and we’ll miss that but it won’t be too bad because we’ve now got the White Air extreme sports festival due to be taking place in Madeira Drive in September. That should attract up to 30,000 people.”