U2 and Ed Sheeran cancel St Louis concerts amid violence over acquittal of white ex-policeman in shooting of black man
U2'S CONCERT in the US has been cancelled after the acquittal of a white former police officer charged over the killing of a black man sparked violent protests.
The Irish rock group's Saturday night performance in St Louis was abandoned with frontman Bono issuing a statement to fans saying he was “deeply saddened at what has happened in St Louis and having to cancel our show tonight”.
Bono wrote that he asked himself whether this is 1968 or 2017, and quoted the words of Dr Martin Luther King: “Human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability… we are coming to ask America to be true to the huge promissory note that it signed years ago. And we are coming to engage in dramatic nonviolent action, to call attention to the gulf between promise and fulfillment; to make the invisible visible,” he posted on the band's Instagram account.
The U2 website said organisers "Live Nation and U2 regrettably announce their St. Louis show scheduled for tonight, September 16, 2017 has been cancelled".
"We have been informed by the St Louis Police Department that they are not in a position to provide the standard protection for our audience as would be expected for an event of this size.
"We have also been informed that local crowd security personnel would not be at full capacity.
"In light of this information, we cannot in good conscience risk our fans’ safety by proceeding with tonight’s concert. As much as we regret having to cancel, we feel it is the only acceptable course of action in the current environment."
Though some fans expressed disappointment on the band’s social media accounts, many others were supportive.
Unrest erupted in downtown St Louis after the not-guilty verdict for ex-police officer Jason Stockley, who was accused of the murder of Anthony Lamar Smith (24) in 2011.
Riot officers were forced to fire tear gas to disperse crowds after the demonstrations turned violent.
Ed Sheeran's gig last night was also abandoned.
Tickets for the show at the Scottrade Centre were sold out. But after police said they could not commit to a "sufficient" level of security in the wake of the demonstrations, the singer-songwriter's gig was also called off.
A statement from the Messina Touring Group on the venue's Twitter page said the safety of fans was its biggest concern.
"After consulting with local officials, who could not fully commit to providing a sufficient amount of police and other city services support, we felt it was in everyone's best interest to cancel Sunday night's show," it said.
"While we regret to have had to come to this decision, we do look forward to returning to St Louis as soon as Ed's schedule will allow in 2018."