Bon Jovi will not be taking to any Chinese stages in the near future, for reasons that remain murky.
A statement from AEG Live Asia puts to rest any hope of a steel horse riding into Shanghai or Beijing in the coming weeks. “We regretfully announce that the Bon Jovi 2015 Shanghai concert on Sept. 14 and Beijing concert on Sept. 17 have beencancelled due to unforeseen reasons,” reads the promoter’s statement. “We would like to apologize for the inconvenience and disappointment that this will cause.” The dates have already been removed from the band’s website, and no announcement made as to whether the band will re-route the two dates to a neighboring country. AEG says ticket holders will be issued refunds.
The Washington Post cites a source as saying the cancelations may have been caused by a 2009 music video featuring footage of protests across the world, including the Tiananman Square protests and the fall of the Berlin Wall. As well, images of the Dalai Lama projected behind Jon Bon Jovi during a concert in 2011 were cited as a possible cause for the Chinese government’s consternation.
The question of why the government allowed Bon Jovi’s concerts to be scheduled, despite the offending content circulating for years prior, remains unanswered. Management for Bon Jovi refused to comment on the still-developing situation. News of the cancelation was first reported by the Financial Times early Tues. morning (Sept. 8).
In July, Maroon 5‘s tour of the country, originally scheduled for this month, was canceled under circumstances resembling that of Bon Jovi (though the offending messaging was, at least, contemporaneous in the case of Maroon 5); band member member Jesse Carmichael tweeted “Happy Birthday America (and The Dalai Lama too) sang happy birthday to his holiness today.” Linkin Park, Bjork and Oasis have been restricting from performing in the country over public support lent to the Dalai Lama.