"Realizing that where the bomb went off was where HBO did the Beyonce-Jay Z concert last year, that was really scary," director of talent relations Mark Maynard tells Billboard.
Imagine getting into a cab in Paris on Friday evening, being told by your driver without any sense of urgency that there was a shooting outside of town, and by the time you arrived at your hotel minutes later, learning that the city was under a siege of terror with multiple targets being bombed simultaneously and in real-time.
That was the experience of HBO director of talent relations Mark Maynard, who arrived in town for a live simulcast of U2's Paris tour stop, which was scheduled for Saturday night. In fact, he was knee-deep in distributing tickets to the scores of guests, executives and VIPs set to attend the concert at the AccorHotels Arena when terrorists (since identified as ISIS militants) attacked music venue the Bataclan along with a Cambodian restaurant and the Stade de France soccer stadium. Rehearsals and camera blocking for the U2 show had ended only a few hours before. The concert was officially canceled at 9:30 p.m. EST, less than 24 hours before it was set to start.