After the Sailing to Philadelphia tour in 2001, the third solo album The ragpicker's dream was released on 30th September 2002. Mark did a lot of promotional work for this album on TV and radio shows from September to December 2002. Getting ready for the new tour, rehearsals were planned in March 2003. However, Mark Knopfler got a motorcycle accident on 17th March 2003, while he was on his way to the rehearsals for the tour. According to court reports, a 23 year old woman did not properly check her mirrors or indicate when she made a hard right into a gas station in Belgravia, central London where she collided with Knopfler's motorbike. Mark broke his shoulder, collar bone and seven ribs. Since he got so seriously injured, it was very unlikely that the tour could go ahead as the first concert was just about one month away.

On 31st March, the official announcement was made that the complete tour was definately cancelled. Many fans already had their tickets by that time, several can be found in the list below. An official statement on Mark Knopfler’s site mentioned: "Mark is obviously bitterly disappointed and would like to thank the fans who have sent him get well messages."

Mark also issued the following message to concerned fans: "I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the hundreds of people who have sent messages from all over the world – reading them is making me feel so much better so much faster. I’m mending pretty well. It’s stopped hurting when I laugh, although I felt it when I sneezed the other day. It made me realize how much I laugh. Thankfully I’ve only sneezed once since the accident, so I hope I don’t catch a cold. The only damage has been to bones (collarbone, shoulder blade and seven ribs) and to my bike. My right lung got a bit compressed with the impact and the swelling, so I’ll be walking a lot to help get it back up to normal. My hands are absolutely fine and I can’t wait to play my guitar again. Also, I’d like to thank everyone involved in my medical care – everybody, doctors, nursing and ambulance staff, has been fantastic, and Kitty has been a great nurse, too."

Luckily, Mark fully recovered from the accident. Click here for two articles about Mark's accident.

The plan was to first play on the 25th March 2003 at a Teenage Cancer Trust charity show in London. It would have been a double bill with Eric Clapton. The actual tour would have started on 22nd April in Lisbon followed by a North American and Canadian leg.

Guy Fletcher later revealed the original song rehearsal list that was made for this tour, click here for more details.
Click here for a flyer with the UK dates.

Advertisement poster for the tour: 


Tour line-up would have been:

Mark Knopfler (guitar, vocals)
Guy Fletcher
(keyboards, guitar, vocals)
Richard Bennett
Jim Cox
(piano, organ, accordion)
Danny Cummings
Marcus Cliffe
Fats Kaplin
(guitar, fiddle, pedal steel)

Total concerts planned: 77

March 2003

  25.03.2003     Royal Albert Hall London UK

April 2003

  22.04.2003     Pavillio Atlantico Lisbon Portugal
  23.04.2003     Palacio Vistalegre Madrid Spain
  24.04.2003     Pavillion Principe Felipe Zaragoza Spain
  25.04.2003     Pavello Olimpic De Badalona Barcelona Spain
  26.04.2003     Le Zenith Toulouse France
  27.04.2003     Dome Marseilles France
  28.04.2003     Nikaia Nice France
Palais Omnisports de Bercy Paris France

May 2003

  01.05.2003     Festhalle Frankfurt Germany
  02.05.2003     Preussag Arena Hannover Germany
  03.05.2003     Heineken Music Hall Amsterdam The Netherlands
  04.05.2003     Heineken Music Hall Amsterdam The Netherlands
  05.05.2003     Heineken Music Hall Amsterdam The Netherlands
  06.05.2003     Arena Cologne Germany
  07.05.2003     Messehalle Erfurt Germany
  11.05.2003     Schleyerhalle Stuttgart Germany
  12.05.2003     T-Mobile Arena Prague Czech Republic
  13.05.2003     Stadthalle Vienna Austria
  14.05.2003     Sportaréna Budapest Hungary
  15.05.2003     Spodek Katowice Poland
  17.05.2003     Waldbühne Berlin Germany
  18.05.2003     Color Line Arena Hamburg Germany
  19.05.2003     Sportspaleis Antwerp Belgium
  20.05.2003     Le Zenith Lille France
  22.05.2003     Forum Copenhagen Denmark
  23.05,2003     Scandinavium Gothenburg Sweden
  24.05.2003     Spektrum Oslo Norway
  25.05.2003     Globen Stockholm Sweden
  27.05.2003     Hartwall Arena Helsinki Finland

June 2003

  01.06.2003     Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts Gerrard Marquee UK
  02.06.2003     Royal Albert Hall London UK
  03.06.2003     Royal Albert Hall London UK
  04.06.2003     Royal Albert Hall London UK
  05.06.2003     Royal Albert Hall London UK
  06.06.2003     Arena Manchester UK
  07.06.2003     City Hall Newcastle UK
  08.06.2003     Playhouse Edinburgh Scotland
  09.06.2003     NEC Birmingham UK
  11.06.2003     Westfalenhalle Dortmund Germany
  12.06.2003     Arena Leipzig Germany
  13.06.2003     Olympiahalle Munich Germany
  14.06.2003     Arena Di Verona Verona Italy
  15.06.2003     Centrale del Tennis Rome Italy
  16.06.2003     Fila Forum Milan Italy
  17.06.2003     Hallenstadion Zurich Switserland
  18.06.2003     Parc de Coulange Amneville France
  26.06.2003     Harbor Center Portsmouth USA
  27.06.2003     Mann Center Philadelphia USA
  28.06.2003     New Jersey PAC Newark USA
  30.06.2003     Radio City Music Hall New York USA

July 2003

  01.07.2003     Wolf Trap Filene Center,Vienna USA
  02.07.2003     FleetBoston Pavillion Boston USA
  03.07.2003     Cisco Systems Bluesfest Ottawa Canada
  04.07.2003     Place Des Arts Montreal Canada
  05.07.2003     Molson Amphitheater Toronto Canada
  06.07.2003     John Labatt Centre, London Ontario Canada
  08.07.2003     Ryman Auditorium Nashville USA
  09.07.2003     Chastain Park Atlanta USA
  11.07.2003     Nautica Stage Cleveland USA
  12.07.2003     Chicago Theater Chicago USA
  13.07.2003     Fraze Pavillion Dayton USA
  14.07.2003     Riverside Theater Milwaukee USA
  15.07.2003     Orpheum Theater Minneapolis USA
  17.07.2003     Red Rocks Denver USA
  18.07.2003     Abravanel Hall Salt Lake City USA
  19.07.2003     The Joint Las Vegas USA
  20.07.2003     Dodge Theater Phoenix USA
  22.07.2003     Copley Symphony Hall San Diego USA
  23.07.2003     Santa Barbara Bowl Santa Barbara USA
  24.07.2003     Greek Theater Los Angeles USA
  25.07.2003     Mountain Winery Saratoga USA
  26.07.2003     Greek Theater Berkeley USA
  27.07.2003     Konocti Field Kelseyville USA
  29.07.2003     Arlene Schnitzer Hall Portland USA
  30.07.2003     Paramount Seattle USA
  31.07.2003     Queen Elizabeth Theater Vancouver Canada

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