Refunds for Prince fans as Croker gig cancelled

PURPLE may be his colour but fans are seeing red after pop star Prince cancelled his Irish concert.

The performer pulled out of next Monday’s Croke Park gig without warning, leaving more than 55,000 ticket holders disappointed.

The show had been billed as the last time he would perform his greatest hits here. The singer turned 50 last weekend and he has been touring with ever-increasing irregularity in recent years.

Promoters MCD announced the cancellation yesterday morning after being informed of the change of plans overnight. While a statement said efforts would be made to reschedule the concert for next year, fans are being refunded their ticket price and booking fee from this Friday. In total 55,161 tickets, ranging in price from €66.50 to €125.50, had been sold for the 62,000 capacity show.

In a short statement issued with the announcement yesterday, MCD said it was with “great disappointment” that the concert would not be taking place and said it was “due to reasons beyond the control of Prince and MCD”.

The artist did not issue any public statement on his own behalf explaining what the reasons were. Building work on the stage at Croke Park, where Neil Diamond will play this weekend, was proceeding as planned and with good weather forecast to continue until Monday, the remaining Prince tickets were expected to sell out.

MCD is thought to have already invested several million euro in the show. The last time the promoters were left without an artist at short notice — when rapper Eminem cancelled in 2005 due to exhaustion — they claimed in a subsequent court case they had suffered €2 million in losses. The case was settled two years later with the terms of the settlement undisclosed.

Customers who bought tickets over the counter can get a refund by returning their tickets to the point of purchase from 9am this Friday, while customers who bought by credit card over the phone or internet can expect to have refunds issued automatically to their accounts within the next five working days.

Prince, who became a superstar in the 1980s due to hits like Purple Rain, 1999 and When Doves Cry, has continued to write, record and perform for himself and other entertainers but has earned as much attention for his eccentricity as his artistry.

In 1993 he ordered that he no longer be referred to by his name after a dispute with a record company and instead adopted a symbol as his moniker, ending up being called the artist formerly known as Prince.

He went back to his christian name in 2000, converted to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and produced a number of experimental instrumental recordings before returning to more mainstream music in 2003. He was embroiled in controversy again last year after upsetting record distributors by giving away his latest album free with a British newspaper.


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