From no-shows to mid-performance cancellations, concerts that don’t go ahead usually cost promoters and organisers a packet but also leave fans disappointed, and sometimes violent.
Meat Loaf had a meltdown during a performance in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK in 2007, leaving organisers to hastily cancel the rest of the gig as well as subsequent concerts in the tour.
At the opening of "Paradise by the Dashboard Light", the rock-singer suggested that the crowd of thousands should enjoy the performance as it was the last of his career. He attempted to sing the first line of the song, but instead said "Ladies and gentlemen, I love you, thank you for coming, but I can no longer continue."
Removing the jacket he was wearing, he thanked the audience for 30 years, said "goodbye forever" and left the stage.
His tour promoter, Andrew Miller, denied that this was the end for Meat Loaf and said he would continue touring after suitable rest as he was suffering from “acute laryngitis”.
Beyonce backed out of not one but two concerts – one in 2007 and another in 2009 – in Malaysia, following accusations by Islamic conservatives that the show would be immoral.
Malaysia’s opposition Pan- Malaysian Islamic Party, or PAS, complained that her “inappropriate dressing... lead to unclean behaviour.”
The pop-star had reportedly agreed to tone down her performance - and often risqué outfits - for the show but it seems she had a change of heart, deciding not to go head with it at all.
"The decision is entirely on of the artiste and is not based on external sources,” the concert’s promoted was quoted as saying somewhat mysteriously.
Although the promoter released a statement following the cancellation that promised fans that “a future date” would be announced shortly, no further Malaysia shows have been scheduled.
Gwen Stefani, Avril Lavigne and Mariah Carey dressed more conservatively than usual during their concerts in Malaysia. Carey wore a shirt and a pair of jeans throughout her “Charmbracelet” show at Stadium Merdeka in 2004 as a protest.
8. Justin Bieber
Sixteen year-old Justin Bieber probably isn’t the first singer to come to mind when you think of a riot at a concert, but in Australia, that’s exactly what happened.
Due to sing three songs as part of an appearance on the morning TV show ‘Sunrise’ earlier this year, the teen sensation was forced by Police to cancel the performance after fans were crushed in a crowd surge while waiting overnight to secure a spot.
In what was Bieber’s only gig Down Under, the performance was expected to attract up to a thousand fans, leaving organisers shocked when over 4,000 people started queing from 6pm the night before.
"We knew it would be popular, but we just couldn't have foreseen this scale," Sunrise weather presenter Grant Denyer said.
"Sunrise hired the best security you could imagine. We hired the professionals who look after U2, Coldplay, Pink - the big acts.
"Even they weren't equipped and just couldn't handle the Bieber fever."
Denyer confirmed some of the fans – mainly teenage girls – had to seek medical attention after fainting or being crushed in the crowd.
7. Vanilla Ice
In the biggest event scandal to hit Dubai since New Year’s Eve celebrations were canned at last minute in 2008, Barasti bar was forced to cancel a planned Vanilla Ice concert after a deluge of criticism on social networking site Twitter.
The beach bar caused outrage after it sent out a text message to hundreds of regulars informing them that a concert featuring the self-styled one-hit-wonder would go ahead despite a mourning period for the late Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Barasti Bar, at Dubai's Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Hotel, sent an early-afternoon text message saying: "NORMAL OPERATION. WE ARE NOT DRY! NICE, NICE BABY! 5PM-3AM C U ON THE SAND".
But social networking site Twitter was inundated with comments criticising the remarks for being insensitive, given an announcement the day earlier of the tragic death of Sheikh Ahmed.
Prominent Emirati social commentator Mishaal Gergawi said on his twitter account that he was "disgusted by Barasti's SMS that they r not dry tonight!! RT [retweet] & don't stop until someone shuts it down tonight!!"
The hotel then issues a statement that read: "Due to the death of Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Barasti has cancelled tonight`s performance of Vanilla Ice and Snap.”
The rapper ended up performing a few nights later to a crowd that only seemed to be there to hear one song.
Violence erupted at a Tiesto concert in Bahrain in 2007 when the world’s most popular trance DJ failed to turn up. Elements of the 3,000 strong crowd became impatient some two hours after Tiesto was due to start, throwing bottles, storming the stage and stealing speakers and audio equipment as the party descended into a riot.
Event organiser Ayman Al Hamad from B&D Entertainment subsequently accused Tiesto of refusing to accept part payment in local currency and being disappointed that just 3,000 tickets had been sold while Tiesto claimed he wasn’t paid but still wanted to play.
Both agreed, however, that Tiesto remained sitting in his Diplomat Radisson SAS Hotel in Bahrain’s city centre throughout the night, which Tiesto apologised for in a statement posted on his site.
“Dear fans, I am very sorry for what happened at the Marina Club in Bahrain last Wednesday,” he admitted.
“I still wanted to play at the party, so I was waiting for somebody to pick me up from the hotel and bring me to the venue. At 2 am., still nobody had arrived and we heard that police was already on the way to the venue. At that moment, I had no other choice than to stay in my hotel room,” he said.
“Again, I am very sorry for what happened and I will definitely try to find a way to make it up with all my fans who bought tickets for the show,” he promised.
Bahrain’s best known DJ Karim Miknas, who owns and runs underground techno club Likwid, played a warm-up gig but left at around 1.30am when the crowd began hurling glass bottles on stage.
5. Whitney Houston
Hundreds of fans walked out of Whiney Houston’s ‘come-back’ tour concerts across the globe earlier this year, disgusted and shocked at the diva’s inability to carry a tune.
Famous for her strong vocals, the singer ended up cancelling the remainder of her tour – organisers citing medical advice following respiratory problems – after being slammed by audience members and the media for her pitiful performances, which were riddled with pauses as Houston tried to catch her breath.
“She couldn’t entertain a rat," said one concert goer in Australia while a critic in Denmark said she “looked and sounded like a person who doesn’t have many years left to live.”
Houston seemed to admit defeat at a concert in England, telling her fans "I want to do it, but my voice just doesn't want to," during a performance of her hit ‘I will always love you’.
One reviewer awarded Houston zero out of five stars with another saying she would have been better off “miming certain parts" instead of trying to sing them.
The concert woes and subsequent tour cancellation only spurred rumours that the singer had fallen off the wagon and is again abusing drugs and alcohol.
4. Willie Nelson
Hundreds of fans from all over the US were disappointed in January when Willie Nelson’s concert in Kenansville was cancelled shortly after members of his band were cited for marijuana possession.
The Duplin County Events Centre on Fairgrounds Drive opened on schedule and alcohol was being served when an announcement was made that Nelson was ill and could not make the show.
Local law enforcement agents from Wilmington confiscated moonshine and small amounts of marijuana from members of the band who were in a van outside the events centre.
Willie Nelson’s son posted a statement on Nelson’s Web site saying the show was cancelled because Nelson’s hand, on which he has had a carpal tunnel operation, was in pain: “...too much to play his guitar Trigger,” according to the statement.
3. Michael Jackson
Billed as the biggest, most expensive tour of all time, fans were literally counting down the days to the King of Pop’s first concert in the series in London last year when he suddenly died.
The ‘This is it’ tour had sold out all fifty dates within hours and was expected to have earned the singer almost US$79 million, but in scenes reminiscent of the ‘Elvis isn’t dead’ conspiracies that swept the world decades ago, many fans couldn’t comprehend that MJ would not be going ahead with the tour.
“I paid a ridiculous amount of money for these tickets and there was no way I was going to miss this show. I’ve grown up with Michael Jackson and have never had the opportunity to see him live before and I was so excited. I’m so disappointed that he isn’t coming and I think he really owes the fans an apology,” said Sarah Cottom.
“We’ve spent all this money and all this time coming to see him and the least he can do is give us an explanation if he wasn’t going to a show up. I’m not mad really, just disappointed. Hopefully he’ll reschedule.”
“It’s of course very unfortunate for the fans that the concert will not go ahead. The traditional show biz adage is that the show must go on but that is extremely difficult when the star of the show is dead. Really Jackson is the exclusive star of the show and that makes it virtually impossible to continue with the performances no matter no how much fans may want it to happen,” said Scrape TV Entertainment analyst Tracey Temple. “The major obstacle in performing a concert after life has ended is obviously the total lack of physical animation. Jackson’s performances have always been lively and that would be extremely to pull off given his current state of being. Dancing, singing, even engaging the crowd would all be very difficult to do given the cold hard reality of his not being alive. Really, I don’t think it would be the Michael Jackson most fans would even want to see.”
While the ‘This is it’ tour never went ahead, a continual array of tribute acts is sure to keep fans entertained in the decades to come.
2. Alice Cooper
Notorious rocker Alice Cooper left an audience furious in Toronto in 1980 after failing to turn up to a gig.
Apparently, just before going on show, Cooper suffered an asthma attack, which hadn’t happened since he was a kid. As a result, organisers announced the cancellation of the show causing the 13,000 fans to go crazy.
The ensuing riot made most major the television news and front page of the newspapers the following day.
The crowd bombarded 268 policemen with bottles, chains and other missles during a 30-minute rampage that cost almost $200,000 to repair and forced the Canadian Rock Festival, due to take place the day after at the same venue, to be cancelled as well.
Reports suggest 200 seats welded to steel posts and bolted to concrete were ripped out, scores of metal chairs were thrown at the stage, the public address system and a set of drums were trashed, steel tunstles were ripped out and windows smshed.
Police reported 31 arrests on charges of assulting police, causing a disturbance, causing public mischief, being drunk and possessing drugs.
Axl Rose seems to love a bit of biff. The Guns and Roses frontman has certainly been in involved in his fair share. In 1991 he famously jumped off the stage during a concert in St Louis to tackle a fan who was filming the show with a camera. He had a heated confrontation with the fan before physically assaulting him. After being pulled out of the audience by members of the crew, Rose said, "Well, thanks to the lame-a** security, I'm going home!", slammed his microphone on the ground and stormed off stage. The angry crowd began to riot and dozens of people were injured.
Rose was charged with having incited the riot, but police were unable to arrest him until almost a year later, as the band went overseas to continue the tour.
A year later, as part of a tour with Metalica, GNR were again at the centre of a riot. This time, the musicians were not able to hear themselves because of inadequate tuning of stage monitors and Rose complained of a sore throat, causing the band to leave the stage early. The cancellation led to another riot by audience members – cars were overturned, windows were smashed and local stores were looted and set fire too.