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Ariana Grande Tour Suspended in Wake of Manchester Attack

Variety logo Variety 5/24/2017 Stewart Clarke
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Ariana Grande’s scheduled concerts in Europe through June 5 — including two in London on Thursday and Friday — have been canceled in the wake of the deadly terrorist bombing at her show in Manchester. The singer’s Dangerous Woman tour was to have taken her to Belgium, Poland, Germany, and Switzerland.

The tour picks up on June 7 in France, with further dates in Portugal, Spain, and Italy.

British fans of the singer – some of whom were becoming agitated at the lack of word – had anxiously awaited notification of whether her appearances at London’s O2 arena and elsewhere would go ahead. On Wednesday evening, Grande’s management announced that the performances were canceled.

“Due to the tragic events in Manchester, the Dangerous Woman tour with Ariana Grande has been suspended until we can further assess the situation and pay our proper respects to those lost,” the singer’s management said in a statement. “The London O2 shows this week have been canceled, as well as all shows through June 5 in Switzerland.

“We ask at this time that we all continue to support the city of Manchester and all those families affected by this cowardice and senseless act of violence. Our way of life has once again been threatened but we will overcome this together. Thank you.”

The likelihood that Grande’s concerts would take place had diminished after the singer apparently flew back home to Florida on Tuesday. The previous night, a suicide bomber blew himself up near the exit of the Manchester Arena in northern England, where Grande had been performing, in an attack that killed 22 people and injured scores more.

Amid the bombing’s cost in human lives, the music industry is worried about its impact on promoters and event organizers in terms of attracting artists to Europe and striving to ensure that relevant safeguards are in place.

There is concern that Europe is perceived as too risky. France has been the target of three major terrorist attacks in a little over two years, and Britain has elevated its threat level to “critical,” meaning more attacks might be imminent. After the assault on the Bataclan theater in Paris in November 2015, for example, the Foo Fighters canceled several European tour dates.

“One aspect is whether certain U.S. artists will decide they would rather stay there than come to Europe,” said Manfred Tari, an industry expert and contributor to music business research service Music & Copyright.

Another concern is the rising cost of insurance premiums. Insurance contracts already contain specific terrorism clauses, but there are reports of a surge in demand by event organizers wanting to review their coverage in the wake of Monday’s bombing in Manchester.

Grande’s fans were eager for news Wednesday as to whether the concerts in London would proceed as planned. But as the day wore on, chances of that receded even further as time began to run out on breaking down the concert set in Manchester, transporting it to London and reinstalling it in the O2 by Thursday evening.

The O2’s management met Wednesday morning to discuss the situation as prospective concert-goers chafed at the wait for an announcement. As one fan tweeted, “the event is tomorrow..how can this still not be confirmed yet?”

The tour’s promoters said in a statement Wednesday evening: “Ticket holders for the London shows should contact their point of purchase for a refund.”

Frankie Grande, Ariana’s performer brother, is also scheduled to appear in London this week – at Bush Hall, a concert hall in West London, on Saturday. But the venue said that it is waiting to hear from the promoter, Live Nation, if the event will proceed.

Ariana Grande’s canceled dates, according to tour promoter Live Nation:

Thursday, May 25 – London, UK, at The O2

Friday, May 26 – London, UK, at the O2

Sunday, May 28 – Antwerp, Belgium, at Antwerp Sportpaleis

Wednesday, May 31 – Lodz, Poland, at Atlas Arena

Thursday, June 1 – Lodz, Poland, at Atlas Arena

Saturday, June 3 – Frankfurt, Germany, at Festhalle Messe Frankfurt

Monday, June 5 – Zurich, Switzerland, at Hallenstadion

Jem Aswad contributed to this report.

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