Gigs & Festivals Top Stories

Speculation continues as to why Bieber show went up late

By | Published on Wednesday 6 March 2013

Justin Bieber

So, as the Bieber reportedly took to The O2 stage early (by two minutes) last night, speculation remains as to why exactly his show on Monday night went up nearly two hours late, resulting in parents galore having to carry out crying Beliebers into the cold Greenwich night, rushing to catch trains just a few songs in to the pop teen and children entertainer’s big show.

After radio silence from the official Bieber channels during the delay, immediately after Monday night’s show and as the late start bizarrely became the biggest news story over British breakfast tables yesterday morning, Justin finally took to his Twitter feed at lunchtime. First, he claimed, reports that his show began nearly two hours late were not true, because he’d been due on stage at 9.35pm and his performance began at 10.10pm, meaning he was in fact “40 mins late to stage” (actually 35 minutes by those timings, but whatever). That delay, the Bieber said, was due to good old fashioned “technical issues”.

He added over a series of tweets: “There is no excuse for [the 40 minute delay] and I apologise for anyone we upset. However it was great show and I’m proud of that, and tonight we will run on time and look forward to putting on an amazing show for everyone in attendance. I never have any intent to upset or let anyone down. And I’m not okay with things being exaggerated. Once again sorry for anyone upset”.

So that’s that. Though, whatever Bieber thought was his schedule, The O2’s official website was certainly billing Bieber’s show to begin at 8.30pm, which is presumably why so many parents were pissed off by the post-10pm start. Given that fact, one would assume said angry parents won’t appreciate the Bieber telling them they actually only had to wait 40 (35) minutes longer than expected, nor that their kids – pulled out of the concert early due to the late kick-off – missed “a great show”.

Not that it really matters for the Bieber machine, because the Beliebers themselves probably can’t comprehend being angry with their hero, and will instead channel all their energies into getting angry with the negative media coverage of the late start. In which case they should check out The Sun, which is claiming that the “technical issues” that caused the delay were an increasingly tetchy and self-absorbed Bieber having a bit of a diva moment.

The tab quotes one unnamed staffer at the O2 Arena as saying backstage arguments caused the delay. Said that staffer: “He [Bieber] was arguing with members of his management, his family. It was a really uncomfortable atmosphere. His attitude was, ‘I’m the star and I can do what I want'”.

The tabloid also quotes a mother of a fan in the audience, who claims O2 staff told her the same. Said Belieber mum Lindsay Gilbertson: “We were told he was kicking up a real fuss. He was saying, ‘It’s my show, I’ll go out when I want to'”.

So that’s all fun. Of course real technical problems do occur from time to time with big live shows, though in this day and age customers will expect updates on such delays via official social media channels, something the live sector is yet to get a handle on (yes, social media is good for communicating issues as well as updates on how brilliant everything is). Likewise if advertised start-times have been altered, pop fans surely have a right to have that communicated to them too, again utilising official social networks.

Of course for the celebrity press, the assumption is that the late start is another sign of a Bieber breakdown, the latest in a string of mini-controversies involving the pop star. Whether there’s any truth in that, well, we might have to wait for the much more interesting post-fame memoirs to find out.