After a chaotic exit at the end of the first show of Ed Sheeran’s Divide Tour 2019 in Hong Kong on Wednesday, the concert organiser is under fire again for cancelling the second gig last night two hours after it was supposed to begin.
Fans were disappointed and angry at AEG Presents Asia, the event organiser’s arrangement to keep them standing and waiting under the heavy rain with lightning at the Hong Kong Disneyland Fantasy Road Outdoor Venue for hours, only to cancel the concert around 9.15pm.
Ed Sheeran later apologised to his fans on Instagram, saying that the delay and cancellation were out of his hands. He and his crew were ready to get on stage, but they could not wait out the lightning storm and eventually had to pull the show.
“I’m so sorry that people had come out and waited in the rain and got wet, and just for no show,” the 28-year-old singer-songwriter said in his Instagram story. “I’m very, very sorry for wasting your time ... and lots of love.”
He added there will be refunds and more information will be available soon.
On AEG Presents Asia’s Facebook page, an update was posted at 8.33pm to say that the show would be delayed due to unfavourable weather conditions, and that special guest Japanese rock band One Ok Rock would not be performing. They also mentioned in the post that the rest of the show would continue as soon as possible. More than half an hour later, however, an announcement was made on stage that the performance was officially called off.
Many fans had left comments on the organiser’s Facebook page, as well as the singer’s Instagram account to question why the gig had not been cancelled earlier, as the Hong Kong Observatory had issued a Thunderstorm Warning at 5.05pm, which was almost two hours before the show’s start time. An amber rainstorm warning was issued at 9.35pm.
“My daughter [has] been there since 4.30pm. Soaking wet! Either you cancel the concert and stop leading everyone on for nothing!” one netizen wrote.
“No contingency plan, late announcement of cancellation and let audiences wait for hours. You should not hold any event anymore,” wrote another.
“It was really disappointing for the fans,” said Young Post sub-editor Nicole Moraleda, who had stood in the rain for two hours. “I feel bad for those who arrived even earlier.”
Some thought that even if their tickets were refunded, it would not cover their transportation cost, nor the money they had spent on food and beverages at the kiosks inside the ticketed area.
This is the second time Ed Sheeran has called off a show in Hong Kong. In 2017, the British singer-songwriter was forced to scrap his concert because of an arm injury.