Fans beg Justin Bieber to cancel tour dates in wake of Manchester bombing as fear grips pop’s youth
Social media has been flooded with pleas by Beliebers for the Canadian heartthrob to cancel upcoming British tour dates and follow the lead of Ariana Grande, who called off concerts in London and Europe after Monday’s attack
Fans of Justin Bieber are pleading for his upcoming British tour dates to be cancelled, underscoring the potential repercussions to music acts with a young fan base following the suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, northern England.
Canadian heartthrob Bieber, 23, is due to play an open air concert at London’s Hyde Park in July. But fans flooded social media saying his appearance should be axed for the safety of both fans and the singer himself.
“Cancel Justin’s concert in the UK, please! We want him to be safe, please,” a person using the handle marhrukhh wrote on the Instagram account of Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun.
Braun also manages Grande, also 23, a former Nickelodeon star whose huge female fan base – many of them tweens – were out in force for her concert in Manchester on Monday night when a suicide bombing killed 22 people and injured dozens.
Grande flew to Florida on Tuesday to spend time with her family, reports have said. Since Monday’s attack, she has called off two London concerts and five in Europe, but there is no news on whether the rest of her world tour, which calls through Hong Kong in September, will go ahead.
Leanne Murray, 20, who lives in Ireland, has tickets to see Bieber play in Dublin next month. But she said that after Monday’s bombing she is contemplating selling them.
“I just don’t want what I would hope to be a great night to end in something like last night,” says Murray, who paid €180 (HK$1,570) each for two tickets. “It’s frightening to think that it could have been any of us and it really shows that you never know what’s around the corner.”
Representatives for Bieber did not immediately respond on the status of his upcoming performances.
Touring has been one of the top sources of income for musicians in recent years. The top 10 worldwide tour acts grossed a combined US$1.67 billion in 2016, according to music industry publication Pollstar, with Bruce Springsteen bringing in US$268.3 million alone.
Pop acts such as Taylor Swift, Bieber, One Direction and Grande are also among the top earners. Grande grossed more than US$25 million from touring between April 2016 and April 2017, according to Pollstar figures, while Bieber grossed US$163 million in 2016.
Joe Reinartz, news editor at Pollstar, says that although he believes security is already strong at music venues and will no doubt be stepped up, parents would likely be more cautious.
“In the short term, there are going to be concerns for any large gathering where there will be young people, and that doesn’t necessarily mean a Justin Bieber show. It means a high school football game, or an event at a fairground,” Reinartz says.
Jim Donio, president of the Music Business Association, says he would be surprised to see musicians cancelling tours because of the attack at the Grande concert.
But he says fans will be more aware and prepared. “Will parents make more informed decisions? Yes, that’s possible, so there can be some impact there.”