Cork Opera House on Mos Def cancellation: We will not accept or tolerate our staff being abused

The Opera House's CEO, Eibhlín Gleeson, addressed last night's events with a statement on social media
Cork Opera House on Mos Def cancellation: We will not accept or tolerate our staff being abused

Yasiin Bey: last night's Opera House was cancelled at short notice

Following the last-minute cancellation of last night's headlining Cork Jazz Festival gig featuring nineties hip-hop icon Yasiin Bey, fka Mos Def, Cork Opera House's CEO, Eibhlín Gleeson addressed the situation this morning in a statement released across the venue's social media presences.

Outlining her position on the matter, and the circumstances in which the venue's staff have found themselves in the aftermath of the announcement, Gleeson said: "Cork Opera House was devastated to have to cancel last night's performance.

"The statement that was issued by the artist's management outlined that the artist was unwell.

"Cork Opera House received this notice approximately 1 hour in advance of the doors opening. Previous to this, we had no indication whatsoever that the gig would not go ahead.

"Once it became clear that the show was not going ahead, we did everything that was humanly possible to alert our patrons as quickly as possible. 

"We called in extra staff and went about communicating the cancellation to patrons, including emailing every patron and announcing on social media, Twitter and Instagram. 

"We funnelled all of our resources into making sure that we were alerting all our patrons, including meeting and apologising to the patrons who arrived for the show.

"This is an unprecedented situation for Cork Opera House. Our staff worked tirelessly to manage the situation under really challenging and difficult circumstances. 

"We understand that people are upset about this cancellation, however, we did the best we could with only one hour's notice. This situation is not the fault of the staff at Cork Opera House and we will not accept or tolerate our staff being abused."

In an unprecedented move, given the circumstances, the venue then signed off on its public statement with direct email addresses for the artist's management.

Due to take place at Cork Opera House at 7 pm last night, the announcement of the cancellation came at approximately 5.30 pm - just an hour before the venue's doors were due to open for the concert.

The late cancellation - reportedly due to a bout of ill-health - came as a blow to fans of the New York rapper, as his gig had been one of the first events to sell out at the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival.

Last week, Bey had announced the cancellation of a Sunday show at the Live at St Luke's venue, but at least that had come in time for organisers and fans to make other arrangements.

Mos Def had been a regular on the Irish festival circuit in recent years, appearing at such events as Electric Picnic in Stradbally, and All Together Now in Co Waterford.

The cancellation came at the end of an otherwise successful festival for Cork city. 

Last year had been the first time since 1978 that there hadn't been a jazz festival in Cork, and this year's event was hastily arranged following the announcement of the easing of Covid restrictions.

Thousands flocked to the city centre, a party atmosphere prevailed, and many gigs had sold out. As has been the case in recent years, the lineup featured a mixture of 'pure' jazz and other genres.

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