A Tribe Called Quest have apologised for cancelling their weekend (11-13Aug17) set at a California music festival, insisting they were too overcome with grief to perform in memory of late bandmate Phife Dawg.

The surviving members of the group had initially been scheduled to play the Outside Lands Music Festival on Friday (11Aug17), only for their set to be rescheduled for Saturday (12Aug17) due to "unforeseen travel issues".

However, that appearance was also scrapped less than an hour before showtime, leaving many fans disappointed.

On Monday (14Aug17), bandmates Q-Tip, Jarobi White, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad penned an open letter to their fans for the Los Angeles Times, admitting they are still struggling to come to terms with the loss of Phife, who died unexpectedly in March, 2016, and the thought of performing in San Francisco, his former hometown, was too much for them to handle.

"We want to sincerely apologize to you for our absence at the Outside Lands Music Festival," their message began. "Your love, dedication and support of our music is important to us.

"Our performance at the festival has been months in the making and in those months we have been fraught with an emotional and eager excitement to touch the stage in the place where Phife Dawg made his home."

Explaining why they couldn't just let the show go on, they continued, "That Friday morning upon traveling to San Francisco, a wave of grief was still on us and in that moment we could not see the 'on' to go on to..."

They postponed the original gig until Saturday, but their plans fell through due to other issues: "We wanted to play for you and we wanted to honor Phife's wife in their hometown," the Bonita Applebum hitmakers shared. "Unfortunately, everything did not come together before the closing curfew."

Concluding their note, the A Tribe Called Quest stars vowed to make it up to their loyal fans, adding, "We are deeply sorry. We will correct this and regain your confidence."

The cancellation was particularly upsetting for Outside Land attendees as the musicians previously revealed they would be bowing out for good following a tour to support the release of their final album, We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service, which was released last year (16).