Ciara Grounded By Cyclone, Deflects Blame For Shortened NZ Concert
Ciara's Australasian tour has turned out to be more eventful than anticipated. A cyclone has nixed the artist's sole Australian date, while a New Zealand booking agency is taking all the blame for a truncated mid-week performance which has been branded a disaster.
The American R&B singer and actress arrived late on stage for her show Wednesday night at Ilam Fields in Christchurch. And when she did appear (reportedly at 11pm, some 90 minutes after the scheduled start), she performed just a handful of songs. It's been widely reported that she took the mic for less than 10 minutes.
Not surprisingly, concert-goers are turning to social media to demand their money back. One disappointed fan wrote on Ciara's Facebook page that the singer had "cancelled the meet and greet despite 'loving her fans'". Ciara's show in Christchurch, the first date on her first-ever NZ tour, was originally penciled in for the indoor site The Foundry, but ticket demand led to the show being upscaled to an outdoor venue. In a post on Twitter, Ciara shed little light on what she described as "technical difficulties." Rumors would have it that contractual issues arising from the change of venue are partially to blame.
I Am So Happy I Got To See My Fans In New Zealand For The First Time! THANK YOU For Rocking With Me, Despite The Technical Difficulties. ️-- Ciara (@ciara) February 18, 2015
A rep for the tour booker, Castor & Ford Agency, posted an apology for the "confusion around her appearance" and the "behind the scenes issues that put Ciara in the middle of an unresolved event out of our control and out of her control that resulted in everyone having a bad experience."
Matty Peilua, of Australasian touring agency Ginnen Group, also apologized without taking the blame. "The event team wish to apologise for the events which took place last night, although it was outside of our control we are truly sorry. We, like you, are disappointed that the headline act was unable to perform as we had been assured they would from the booking agent," Peilua wrote. "Please be assured that we did everything we could from our end to try [to] make the show still go on. We are not going to blame anyone or any one thing, we will simply say that we are as disappointed as everyone else." Ticket holders would get refunds, he said.
Ciara isn't getting away that easy. The singer was grounded in NZ as a category 5 cyclone drifted into Queensland, Australia on Friday morning. Her slated show Friday night at Velvet Underground in Cairns, in Australia's far north-east, has been canceled. In an Instagram post, she wrote: "Stuck At The Airport Due To #CycloneMarcia...Flights Into #Cairns and #PapuaNewGuinea Are Cancelled... Looks Like We're Diverted To Melbourne!! Such A Bummer I Will Be Back VERY SOON With The REAL TOUR! Praying That All Will Be OK With Everyone and Their Families. Love C." Her Australasian tour is due to wrap March 3 back in Auckland.
Billboard recently premiered new single "I Bet," which dropped nearly two years after the release of Ciara's self-titled album.