Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Still perplexed by Prince? You’re not the only one

It has been a bad week for Irish gig-goers, as first Prince and then MIA cancelled shows. On Wednesday, MIA pulled her entire European tour, including a planned date at Dublin’s Tripod. This cancellation was later attributed to her wanting …

Fri, Jun 13, 2008, 09:28

   

It has been a bad week for Irish gig-goers, as first Prince and then MIA cancelled shows.

On Wednesday, MIA pulled her entire European tour, including a planned date at Dublin’s Tripod. This cancellation was later attributed to her wanting to get her nails done, go shopping and start gardening.

Recent weeks have also seen Santogold, Mystery Jets, Gregory Isaacs, Black Mountain and Animal Collective cancel or postpone Dublin shows, citing everything from illness and missed ferries to “unforeseen circumstances”. The latter is usually taken as promoter-speak for poor ticket sales.

But sorriest of all were the 55,000 Prince fans, after the pop star cancelled his only European show, which had been due to take place in Dublin’s Croke Park next Monday.

Promoters MCD said the cancellation was “due to reasons beyond the control of Prince and MCD Productions”. In an unprecedented move, MCD also cited sales of 55,161 tickets. This quashed most rumours about a poor-selling show.

So why was it cancelled? When the Dublin date was announced in February, it was said in the initial press release to be one of just three European shows in which Prince would perform his greatest hits for the last time.

However, the other shows in Milan and Paris didn’t go ahead. While there were also online rumours of mooted shows in the Netherlands and Denmark, Dublin was the only Prince date in Europe for which tickets went on sale. Was there something different about the Dublin gig that would have made it viable as a one-off show?

If the Italian and French shows weren’t on, why would Prince fly with his band and crew across the Atlantic the week after his 50th birthday to play just one show? It wouldn’t seem to make any financial, logistical or practical sense.

As long ago as March, experienced industry observers in the United States were telling On The Record that they thought it unusual that Prince would play just one show in Europe.

So was the artist really to blame? Early on, some people inferred from the healthy ticket sales and from Prince’s silence that this was the case.

However, in a post on fan site Housequake, it was pointed out that Prince is contractually forbidden from commenting on what happened. So his silence may not in itself be meaningful.

Many of the other allegations on the site made about the reasons for the cancellation were dismissed as false by an MCD spokesperson.

At the time of The Ticket going to press, no statement has been made by Prince or his agents explaining why there will be no purple rain at Croke Park next week.

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