Two concerts in China by rock group Bon Jovi have been abruptly canceled, and it might have something to do with the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, Ming Pao Daily reported on Thursday.
Concert organizer AEG China announced on Weibo early Wednesday that the shows, scheduled to be staged on Sept. 14 in Shanghai and on Sept. 17 in Beijing, have been pulled “for some reason”. It did not elaborate.
The two concerts were also deleted from the schedule on Bon Jovi’s official website.
Tickets for the concerts cost between 480 yuan (US$75.23) and 3,880 yuan each.
The Financial Times quoted unnamed sources as saying that China’s Ministry of Culture canceled the shows after learning that a video backdrop for the band’s concert in Taiwan in 2010 featured an image of the Dalai Lama.
It was also learned that Chinese authorities were displeased after learning that the rock band’s 2009 music video for the song We Weren’t Born To Follow features the famous image of a man who stood in front of a column of tanks during the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.
Bon Jovi has sold 120 million records worldwide since it was formed in 1983.
It is not the first one to be banned by the Chinese government for political reasons, and possibly will not be the last.
A spokesman for the culture ministry had said authorities would scrutinize the contents of performances by cultural groups from overseas.
The move came after Iceland singer Bjork shouted out “Tibet! Tibet!” during her 2008 concert in Shanghai.
Meanwhile, Damai.cn said it is refunding those who have purchased tickets for Bon Jovi’s China concerts.
But the concerts at the Cotai Arena of the Venetian Macao will be held as scheduled on Sept. 25 and 26.
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