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Dropkick Murphys will replace Yeah Yeah Yeahs at Boston Calling

Karen O, the band’s lead singer, is recovering from an illness, she said.

Ken Casey (left) with his band the Dropkick Murphys during their St. Patrick's Day show at The House of Blues Boston. Karen O (right), lead singer of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, performing at the House of Blues on Sunday May 12, 2013.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Yeah Yeah Yeahs will no longer perform at Boston Calling this weekend, the festival’s organizers and the band announced on Thursday, due to a member of the group coming down with an illness.

Dropkick Murphys have been added to the Friday lineup in their place, taking one of the top spots of the billing for the three-day festival. According to an announcement, the local Celtic punk rockers will take the stage at 5:55 p.m.

The National, who were originally scheduled for that time slot, will now perform at 7:05 p.m. instead, just before the evening’s headliner, Foo Fighters.


Karen O, lead singer of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, said on Twitter Thursday that she’s been suffering from “a gnarly bug” since last week. Although she’s been taking antibiotics, the performer has been told to rest.

“We have been so looking forward to playing for you again and are super bummed and sorry for the disappointing news,” she wrote, adding that the decision was “unrelated to” guitarist Nick Zinner, whose bout with pneumonia last year led to the band canceling a December appearance on “Saturday Night Live.” “We hope to see you soon in good health and spirits, until then much love.”

This is not the first time the festival, which returns to the Harvard Athletic Complex Friday through Sunday, has had to contend with last-minute lineup changes among top-billed acts.

The Strokes canceled their headlining performance for Saturday night last year after a member of the band tested positive for COVID. Nine Inch Nails, which had been the headliner on Friday, stepped in for a second set on Saturday — a set that largely consisted of songs the band didn’t perform the night prior.

Foo Fighters also canceled two months before last year’s festival, following the death of drummer Taylor Hawkins. The band will return to the festival Friday night, backed by new drummer Josh Freese.


Spencer Buell can be reached at spencer.buell@globe.com. Follow him @SpencerBuell.