Paul McCartney cancels concert in Australia

Monday, October 28, 2002

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From theage.com.au, October 28, 2002:

Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney has postponed his promised Melbourne concert next month, citing the Bali bombings.

“As a mark of respect to both the families who have lost loved ones and to the families of the injured, I have decided to postpone my planned concert in Melbourne as this is not the appropriate time for a rock show,” McCartney said.

“Like many who have a deep fondness for Australia, I have been shocked and saddened by the recent terrible events in Bali. My sympathies . . . are with you in all your grief,” he added.

The no-show is a blow to Major Events Company chairman Steve Vizard and Premier Steve Bracks, who announced the concert on October 10 with taxpayers’ money ensuring it would be exclusive to Melbourne.

“Sir Paul’s decision is a personal response to the tragic events in Bali. I know he has been deeply moved by these events and this has not been an easy decision,” Mr Vizard said.

“It is particularly understandable as this concert features freedom as a theme.” He said work would begin “to explore future possible dates”.

A spokesman for Mr Bracks said the government respected McCartney’s decision. “Major Events looks forward to when Mr McCartney does tour in Melbourne,” the government spokesman said.

Opposition Leader Robert Doyle said his party “maintained it was inappropriate that taxpayers’ money was used to entice McCartney to come here”.

Tour promoter Paul Dainty said 30,000 tickets had sold in the five days since tickets went on sale. Prices ranged from $99.50 to $449.50 for “diamond circle” seats. The money would be refunded, Mr Dainty said.

An entertainment industry insider said McCartney employed a large number of Australians in his road crew of 150 and they had been deeply affected by the Bali attacks.

No revised concert date has, as yet, been set.

Last updated on March 14, 2021

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