A rolling Empire singing competition will not be making its planned stop in St. Louis on Tuesday, with Fox citing the recent unrest in nearby Ferguson. The show made a last-minute announcement on Monday night that its Next Empire Artist bus tour will instead take place in Kansas City, beginning Wednesday.
The tour bus schedule has changed. The #Empire bus will now be in KANSAS CITY, MO (not St. Louis) Wednesday, August 12. Details to come.
— Empire (@EmpireFOX) August 11, 2015
The Empire bus was scheduled to stop at Ballpark Village, across the street from Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis. According to Fox, the bus is outfitted with a recording studio where fans can record their own versions of Empire songs. The 15-date tour also gives singers a chance to enter a contest to win a cameo on the hit show.
It’s unclear whether Fox plans to swing back through St. Louis at some point. After Kansas City, the Empire tour will carry on to Dallas, New Orleans and Nashville. Representatives did not return requests for comment.
The announcement came shortly after officials in St. Louis County declared a state of emergency following a violent night of unrest in Ferguson on the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown’s death. At least three people were wounded in gunfire late Sunday. On Monday, dozens of protesters — including activist Cornel West — were arrested outside the Thomas Eagleton Federal Courthouse a short walk from Ballpark Village, and later another large group of activists were arrested after blocking both directions of Interstate 70 near the Missouri River.
— Lance Hildebrand (@Y98Lance) August 10, 2015