- Title: CHINA-BON JOVI/REAX Shanghai residents unsurprised Bon Jovi tour cancelled
- Date: 10th September 2015
- Summary: SHANGHAI, CHINA (SEPTEMBER 10, 2015) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF MERCEDES-BENZ ARENA IN SHANGHAI HALL INSIDE MERCEDES-BENZ ARENA EVENT CALENDAR OF MERCEDES-BENZ ARENA ADVERTISEMENT OF BON JOVI CONCERT DATE OF BON JOVI CONCERT IN SHANGHAI ON ADVERTISEMENT PEOPLE WALKING INTO A LIFT SIGN OF BON JOVI ON AN ADVERTISEMENT IN LIFT WOMAN LOOKING AT ADVERTISEMENT AND LEAVING MAN WALKING PAST POSTERS VARIOUS OF MAROON 5 CONCERT POSTER PEOPLE WALKING OUT OF MERCEDES BENZ ARENA PEOPLE WALKING PAST (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 28-YEAR-OLD, MR WU, SAYING: "They are a rock band. So they are pretty 'high' and there's a good atmosphere at a live concert. So Chinese government is perhaps afraid that they will fan the flames of the audience's emotions. Right now, it's a sensitive time, as the World War Two anniversary has just passed, so it's understandable." EXTERIOR OF CHINESE PAVILION PEOPLE WALKING ON ROAD (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 37-YEAR-OLD, GUO QIJIE, SAYING: "I don't think bands like Bon Jovi and Maroon 5 should get involved with Dalai Lama. If they are not linked with him, it's good for both themselves and their fans." EXTERIOR OF MERCEDES-BENZ ARENA IN SHANGHAI
- Embargoed: 25th September 2015 13:00
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVA31HDSJ53KWYGRVGMFQRGILQDN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Shanghai residents said on Thursday (September 10) it was understandable that U.S. rockers Bon Jovi had their first ever tour of China unexpectedly cancelled, with some saying the band should not get mixed up with controversial figures like the Dalai Lama.
The Chinese tour promoter announced the cancellation on Wednesday (September 9). It was not immediately clear why, though the group produced a music video six years ago showing scenes from the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown. During a previous live tour the group also showed a still image of the Dalai Lama.
Promoter AEG said in short statement on its Weibo microblog that the Sept. 14 concert in Shanghai and Sept. 17 concert in Beijing had been cancelled "for some reason".
It provided no other explanation and government authorities either declined to comment or could not be reached for comment.
The government forbids artists performing content that "harms national unity" and vets set-lists and lyrics before approving concerts, as well as the artists themselves to ensure no objectionable connections, such as to human rights groups.
Bon Jovi's 2009 "We Weren't Born To Follow" music video features brief images of the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations around Beijing's Tiananmen Square, bloodily put down by the army. Public discussion of the event remains taboo in China.
The Financial Times, citing unidentified sources, said China had banned the concert after discovering a picture of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, a man reviled by China, had featured in a video shown at a previous concert in Taiwan.
An official at the Ministry of Culture, responsible for the vetting process, said decisions about the concerts were being handled at the city level.
The Beijing Culture Bureau declined to comment.
The Shanghai Culture Bureau did not answer calls seeking comment. The Foreign Ministry said it did not know anything about the case.
Bon Jovi are not the first band to have the plug pulled on their China tour. Maroon 5 were also scheduled to perform in the country but their shows were cancelled after one of the band members posted a message about the Dalai Lama on Twitter.
People on the streets of Shanghai were not surprised that the tour had been called off.
"They are a rock band. So they are pretty 'high' and there's a good atmosphere at a live concert. So Chinese government is perhaps afraid that they will fan the flames of the audience's emotions. Right now, it's a sensitive time, as the World War Two anniversary has just passed, so it's understandable," said 28-year-old Mr Wu.
Another resident placed the blame on the shoulders of the bands for courting figures like the Dalai Lama.
"I don't think bands like Bon Jovi and Maroon 5 should get involved with Dalai Lama. If they are not linked with him, it's good to both themselves and their fans," said 37-year-old Guo Qijie.
Lead singer Jon Bon Jovi had courted China last month by releasing a video of him singing in not bad Mandarin the classic love song "The Moon Represents My Heart" by the late Taiwan singer Teresa Teng, which remains hugely popular in China.
In 2008 Icelandic singer Bjork infuriated the government by shouting "Tibet! Tibet!" after performing her song "Declare Independence" at a concert in Shanghai.
China has ruled Tibet with an iron fist since "peacefully liberating" the Himalayan region in 1950, and it condemns any challenge to its authority.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2015. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None