Concerts Canceled in St. Louis Following Protests

Anna Kutz, Life Editor

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U2 performs in London in July. The band released a statement the morning of Sept. 16 saying St. Louis police couldn’t guarantee the proper police presence at the concert, so it was cancelled.

Chaos erupted in St. Louis over a recent court ruling, leading to two artists canceling their concerts and disappointing local fans.

After white former-police officer Jason Stockley was acquitted of murder charges in the death of black motorist Anthony Lamar Smith, protests exploded in the St. Louis area. Smith died in 2011, but the verdict of the trial was released recently, causing attention to turn back on the case and sparking protests.

While some protesters stayed peaceful, others vandalized and became violent, which necessitated a police presence during the protests.

Consequently, U2 and Ed Sheeran canceled concerts scheduled for Sept. 16 and 17.

According to U2’s official statement, the band was informed that “local crowd security personnel” wouldn’t be able to attend in the numbers necessary for safety.

“We have been informed by the St. Louis Police Department that they are not in a position to provide the standard protection for our audience, as would be expected for an event of this size,” the official website said.

Ed Sheeran’s touring company issued a similar statement, citing the lack of police as the cause of cancellation, and that they felt “it was in everyone’s best interest to cancel Sunday night’s show.”

However, the end of the statement did seem hopeful to disheartened fans as they said “we do look forward to returning to St. Louis as soon as Ed’s schedule will allow in 2018.” Both artists promised immediate refunds through Ticketmaster.

Despite refunds and promises of returning, fans were still disappointed with the situation.

“I had been waiting to see him again for over two years, and it was supposed to be my 18th birthday present,” Sydney Kolnsberg, an EHS senior and Ed Sheeran fan said. “When I heard it was cancelled I was in disbelief. I thought ‘there’s no way I waited this long to not even get to see him.'”

Another senior, Dean Stuart, had planned on attending the U2 concert with his family. “(I was upset because) I love the band and seeing it with my parents would have been cool,” he said.

Though he was let down, he did not feel as if the cancelation was unnecessary. Stuart had little opinion about the protests, explaining that he wasn’t fully aware of what the area was like at the time, but he did understand why the decision to cancel was made.

Kolnsberg, too, recognized that the security issues were too prominent to ignore.

“Although I’m not happy about it, I would rather be safe than sorry.”

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Concerts Canceled in St. Louis Following Protests