Drake Falls Ill and Cancels Show: What To Do When A Concert is Postponed or Cancelled
by Kristine Sage
6 months ago
Drake took to Instagram Stories and Twitter to put out a heartfelt sorry to his fans for being forced to call off a pair of concerts in Miami this past weekend due to illness. “I just wanted to say how sorry I am about those two Miami shows,” he wrote, saying he got “so ill so fast”. The Miami show dates have been rescheduled for Nov 13 and 14, but the organisers have released no statement yet about whether or not they are open to refunding the ones that cannot make it to the new dates.
It has been said that going on tour is the only way musicians actually make their money. Their entire well-being depends entirely on whether or not the fans will go to their concerts. Concerts are one of the hardest types of events to organize, it requires a whole team and major commitment, promotions and marketing need to be on point, and logistics need to be well-managed. So you can just imagine what goes down when a show gets cancelled or postponed.
How often do these last minute or short-notice cancellations happen, and what do you do when they happen? When Miley Cyrus cancelled her concert due to the flue only 30 minutes before, when everybody was at the venue already and waiting patiently for her arrival, it took a while before proper information came about the postponed dates.
These things don’t actually happen very often, also because it involves an entire village to troubleshoot and get back on track. No matter what kind of high-maintenance antics are portrayed in the tabloids, at the end of the day, nobody––even artists––want a cancellation.
There are some really exceptional reasons for concerts getting cancelled, like when Kanye West’s concert set got damaged while on the road, or when artists get denied visas while touring internationally or not able to get cleared in time. Selena Gomez was reportedly denied a visa to Russia because of her support for LGBT rights, and Travis Scott came to a concert 1.5 hours late because he was held at the Canadian border.
On some occasions, some musicians even go so far as to have a meltdown in the middle of the show. Remember when Justin Bieber got so upset he refused to continue the show? Recap: Justin stormed off the stage after performing only one song because he was attempting to clean some spilled water on the stage, and his fans kept pulling at the towel while he was doing so. His private jet took off right after. But he apologized in an Instagram post after. Justin Bieber is pretty known for it, as he’s also gone on to cancel a few more shows later on for “unforeseen circumstances”.
In that particular Bieber incident, the show did not get postponed or compensated. But in most cases, cancelled shows do get rescheduled. Everybody involved behind-the-scenes signs off on a new plan in advance. That way, they have a contingency, and can announce a new date to fans at the same time the artist cancelled, so they know it’s not permanently cancelled.
The difficult part about that is scrambling to find a date that works for the artist and the venue, as well as the time of year into effect (fans that are strapped for cash would affect sales, and that would be Christmas time or cold weather).
The line of communication usually starts with the artist, who calls the tour manager, who calls the manager, who calls the agent, who calls the promoter, and everything gets sorted out from there. All hands on deck when a show gets cancelled, and decisions are fully made before the road crew gets to work. It is extremely expensive to cancel a show last minute, because so many teams are involved. The venue, the promoter, the band and crew all take a hit––even the security on site, ticket-takers, staffers, advertising paid, all that are affected. It isn’t a decision to be taken lightly from anyone’s side. Insurance can cover some of the costs, taking into account the entire situation.
The singer also loses out on a paycheck if they don’t perform, and they also probably get a lower pay for the rescheduled show, with the new show usually just to cover the cost for the new date (and may not sell out). There are artists who hate cancelling their shows and make up for it, like when Keith Urban’s plane was grounded due to a storm and he wasn’t able to make it to a concert, he recorded a YouTube video promising his fans he would make it up to them and play a longer show.