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2002.12.08 - The Province - Riot Halts Guns N' Roses Tour

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2002.12.08 - The Province - Riot Halts Guns N' Roses Tour Empty 2002.12.08 - The Province - Riot Halts Guns N' Roses Tour

Post by Blackstar on Thu May 21, 2020 9:23 pm

2002.12.08 - The Province - Riot Halts Guns N' Roses Tour 2002_185


Riot halts Guns N’ Roses tour

By Sorelle Saidman
Special to The Province

Axl Rose has done it again.

A last-minute cancellation of a Guns N’ Roses concert in Philadelphia caused a melee Friday night, resulting in several injuries, at least one arrest and damage to the venue and equipment. Unlike the Vancouver riot Nov. 7 — where the show was cancelled before it started, inciting fans to smash windows and destroy fencing outside the venue — more than 14,000 people were already inside Philadelphia’s sold-out First Union Center when it was announced — well past 11 p.m. — that the concert was being cancelled due to the ill health of an unspecified band member, later reported as frontman Axl Rose.

A number of audience members, already restless and throwing plastic cups and bottles after waiting several hours, began tearing up seats, throwing chairs and smashing equipment. Although concert organizers initially told media that fans had left the venue in an orderly fashion and there had been no injuries, eyewitnesses said that was not the case.

“We saw at least one guy get whacked in the head, hard, with a chair,” said one fan in an e-mail. “He was lying on the floor and he didn't look like he was in good shape.”

According to a Philadelphia police spokesperson, at least one arrest was made at the site, and that there had been interior damage to the venue and equipment. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, five people were taken to hospital.

A second Philadelphia concert scheduled for today was called off. Shows in a number of other cities, including Sacramento and San Jose, Calif., were also listed as cancelled on the Ticket-master website. A ticket agent for the Mandalay Bay venue in Las Vegas, which was to host one of the last shows on the tour December 28, told The Province they expected an announcement tomorrow cancelling their event along with the rest of the tour.

The Vancouver concert, the first show on the tour, was cancelled when the habitually tardy Rose failed to make it to the venue in a timely fashion. He was reportedly on route by air when the plug was pulled at 7:30 p.m.

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