||Unfortunately, Iced Earth will have to cancel this summer's festivals and headline shows. The group's mastermind and guitarist Jon Schaffer will undergo neck surgery again, for a problem he has sustained for quite some time. He was advised to do the surgery as fast as possible. Hopefully, Schaffer can have a full recovery.
Jon Schaffer explained the situation: "It is with sincere apologies that I write to inform you all that Iced Earth is forced to cancel this summer's festivals and headline shows.
"As many of you know, I underwent surgery on my neck in the year 2000, due to an onstage injury that occurred in 1996. Since that time, I have battled with this problem, and it has begun to accelerate in the past several months, causing additional issues that can no longer be ignored.
"In February, while on tour in Europe, I underwent highly specialized treatment in Germany from a doctor who has helped, among many others, Tony Iommi and Eddie Van Halen. This treatment helped sustain my ability to perform so that we could complete our Worldwide Plagues Tour.
"However, I am now forced to take further, more invasive action sooner than I intended in order to maintain my overall health. Surgery was originally planned to take place in September during our break, but I have now been advised to have the procedure completed sooner rather than later.
"As much as it pains me and everyone else in our camp to have to cancel these dates, this is something that cannot be put aside any longer. Once the surgery and recovery are completed, we will be back to work - healthy, strong, and ready to bring the metal to you, our fans. Best wishes to you all, Jon Schaffer."