New Year's Eve show by Walk Off the Earth cancelled after band member's death
Avenue Inn, The Sheepdogs and Burton Cummings will still take the stage
Walk Off the Earth's New Year's Eve performance in Niagara Falls, Ont., has been cancelled following the death of one of the band's members.
Mike Taylor, also known by fans as "Beard Guy," was the keyboardist and vocalist in the Burlington-based indie pop group. He died of "natural causes" Saturday night in his sleep, according to a statement from the band.
"Mike had a love for life that was unmatched and a willingness to give that went beyond ordinary means," the statement added. "Our deepest sympathies are with his two children, whom he adored more than anything else in the world."
Flags at Burlington's city hall were lowered to half-mast Monday in Taylor's honour.
Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said the city joins in mourning the "tragic loss" and sends its condolences to his family, band mates, friends and fans.
"Mike and the band returned to our home town many times to show their support and love for the city and we thank them for that," she wrote in a statement.
"You have left us with a rich musical legacy. Thank you Mike for your contribution to music here and around the world. We will truly miss you."
NYE show will go on
The group was slated to play in Queen Victoria Park to ring in the new year, but the performance has since been called off.
We are lowering our flags to half mast today to honour <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BurlON?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BurlON</a> resident <a href="https://twitter.com/WalkOffTheEarth?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WalkOffTheEarth</a> Mike Taylor <a href="https://twitter.com/WalkOffTaylor?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WalkOffTaylor</a> who died unexpectedly in his sleep. Our city mourns. We will miss you. Thank you for your contribution to music here and around the world. <a href="https://twitter.com/cityburlington?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@cityburlington</a> <a href="https://t.co/n3AI0r6K02">pic.twitter.com/n3AI0r6K02</a>—@MariannMeedWard
"Niagara Parks wishes to extend their deepest sympathies to Walk Off the Earth's Mike Taylor's family and the band members during this trying time," read a statement from the event organizer.
The show will still go on starting at 8 p.m. with performances by Avenue Inn, The Sheepdogs and Burton Cummings, along with an added performance by Toronto-based classic rock band, the Carpet Frogs, who are touring with Cummings.
Visitors are warned to dress for the weather and to plan their routes to and from the event to avoid road closures.