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The weirdest excuses for gig cancellations

Pigeon strike

A large venue, of the sort that plays host to rock concerts, is apparently a haven for pigeons, who will often roost in the upper scaffolding, and then fly around while the band performs. And where there are pigeons, there will undoubtedly be pigeon droppings. Often venues will bring in specialist pest controllers to deal with their infestation, but clearly this was not the case in St Louis in 2010, when Kings of Leonbassist Jared Followill found himself the target of a particular flock of feathered menaces.

After a couple of splatters landed on his clothes during the first two songs, he was hit on the face, close to his mouth, and the band elected to call a halt to their set for health and hygiene reasons.

 Getting bored of your own music

Highlights of Iggy Azalea’s set at 1Xtra Live 2013

There must come a point for any performer when it feels like they need to change gear a bit, take a break, refresh their sound and absorb a few different influences. Perhaps the worst time to make that decision is just before a major US tour, as Iggy Azalea did in 2015, cancelling the entire jaunt and claiming she wanted to stop “singing the same songs”.

After apologising to fans on social media, she later gave an interview with Seventeen magazine, saying: “I feel like I’m at the end of an era now. To go on a tour in late September and to stay in that mindset of what I’d envisioned for that tour, I feel like that would stifle me…

“It’s not easy to decide that the best thing to do is cancel a tour, but that’s the best thing for me. I don’t want to disappoint my fans. I feel really bad. It was a tough decision to make, but it was the best thing.”

 Kissing Alex Jones

Lionel Richie on surviving the music industry

There’s a cautionary tale here for all celebrities who push their luck. The One Show’s Alex Jones recalled how a meeting with Lionel Richie ended badly for him, thanks to a bug she’d picked up shortly before his arrival. She explained to the Sun: “I’m not ill very often but I remember the norovirus was rife at the time and I started to feel very dodgy.

“I had a day off but then I probably went back into work a day too early so I was still infectious. After Lionel and I had just finished our chat on the show, I went to give him a kiss on the cheek and he went in for the lips. He caught the norovirus off me and had to cancel two of his tour dates. I did feel a bit guilty but, essentially, don’t be so forward Lionel! If he’d gone for the cheek, he would have been fine.”

Wishing the Dalai Lama a happy birthday

Maroon 5 had been booked to play two shows in Shanghai and Beijing in 2015, but found that both concerts had been cancelled suddenly, with no clear reason as to why. On further investigation, a (since deleted) tweet by the band’s keyboard player Jesse Carmichael appears to have angered both Chinese fans and the authorities, after he said that he “sang happy birthday to his holiness” the Dalai Lama.

This was interpreted as a political act, as the religious leader has been exiled from his native Tibet since 1959. And it’s not the first time musicians have found their invites to perform in China rescinded on similar grounds. Noel Gallagher and Linkin Parkboth had prospective Chinese concerts cancelled after showing their support for the Free Tibet movement.