Tuesday 21 November 2017

Devastated One Direction fans burst into tears at last-minute Belfast concert cancellation

Stunned fans initially thought the announcement was a joke

1D fans were left in tears last night after the band cancelled their gig in Belfast because Liam (left) was ill
1D fans were left in tears last night after the band cancelled their gig in Belfast because Liam (left) was ill
(left to right) Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles of One Direction.
Photo: Twitter/ ‏@largefryhes
Photo: Birthday queen/ ‏@NenehTrainer
Photo: Birthday queen/ ‏@NenehTrainer
(Photo: Twitter/BelfastLive)
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

One Direction have apologised to their fans after their latest concert was cancelled just minutes before they were meant to take to the stage.

Last night, thousands of fans in the SSE Belfast Arena stood stunned inside the venue after they were told that the massive gig had been cancelled last-minute as Liam Payne had reportedly taken ill.

Devastated children, some as young as five-years-old, burst into tears at the news.

But then, in a statement on their website last night, Aiken Promotions said: "The show tonight has been cancelled as Liam has taken ill, and whilst not serious , he is unable to perform tonight.

"Please hold on to your tickets. A further statement will be made in the morning. The band apologise to the fans and wish Liam better."

There are reports that Liam may be suffering from food poisoning.

Shock soon turned to anger in the venue and last night, parents of fans vented their outrage at the last-minute cancellation.

Sandra Hynes, from Rhodes, Offaly told independent.ie that she had travelled a six-hour journey from Offaly to bring her daughter to her first ever concert.

""We travelled from Offaly... six hours it took from home to the hotel... set off at 6am with a super excited little girl who got the tickets for Christmas last year... three days missed from school. A fortune spent... All for nothing."

"How do I fix this for my daughter?... her first ever concert. Don't see why the other three didn't go on without him."

She estimates that the entire trip - including concert tickets - cost her €500.

"The tickets were €151 including booking fee, then the hotel was €201, and then trains, buses, and food," she told RTE's Morning Ireland. “you’re looking on an average of maybe about €500.”

She believes that the band should have decided that the show must go on, and perform the gig without Liam.

"It would have been better than nothing, we presumed it was a joke, I was videoing the announcement being made because I thought it was some kind of joke and wanted to see the reaction of the crowd when they came on."

"I’d absolutely love for her to come back and see them, it was a Christmas present we’d been planning all year... It was dreadful."

Photo: Birthday queen/ ‏@NenehTrainer
Photo: Birthday queen/ ‏@NenehTrainer
Photo: Birthday queen/ ‏@NenehTrainer

Last night, another parent told independent.ie: "Travelled all the way from Waterford for my daughter for her first concert which was also a Christmas present. She is still heartbroken here. Between fuel and hotel and then this to happen... It was after 9pm that they were told. My partner and daughter were in the SSE Arena."

Just hours before the show, the band's official Twitter account tweeted this message: "Belfast! Are you ready? #OnTheRoadAgain2015"

Later, three of the band's members tweeted their apologies to fans.

"Deepest apologies to everyone at the show tonight in Belfast. Very disappointed, but unfortunately these things happen. We're very sorry. H," Harry Styles wrote from his personal account.

Louis Tomlinson also wrote to fans: "We're so so sorry for what happened tonight, it was out of our control ! Lots of love to Liam and thank you for being so understanding !"

Niall Horan wrote: "So sorry we have had to cancel tonight guys.  Unfortunately these things happen... Thank you to all who came down tonight !"

Read more: One Direction release 'Perfect' music video just hours after Belfast gig cancelled 

Fans have expressed their outrage and disappointment on social media, with many asking the band to return to Belfast.

"Yikes lots of sad fans heading home tonight," one tweeted.

Another tweeted: "absolute disgrace in Belfast tonight! Such a sin on them poor kids waiting to see you. Don't be surprised if you loose fans!!![sic]".

The hashtag '#GetWellSoonLiam' began to trend on Twitter just minutes after the cancellation.

The scheduled show was part of the boys' 'On The Road Again' tour which saw them play three sold-out dates in Dublin at the weekend.

The SSE Arena Belfast holds a capacity of 12,500 people.

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