Elton John at Fashion Cares: will he be there tonight? Organizers say yes..
Bob Leahy on what went down in Peterborough last night, where Elton John’s concert was cancelled at the last minute, and what it means for Fashion Cares.
Patrons who paid $1,500 to see Elton John will be wondering today whether tonight’s Fashion Cares, a glittering fundraiser from the AIDS Committee of Toronto, will be a let-down. The question is will Elton John, the much touted headliner, appear?
Xtra Canada posted this afternoon on twitter "ALERT! #EltonJohn still confirmed as "attending " FashionCares and is still "scheduled" to perform say organizers."
Elton’s tour took him to Peterborough, Ontario last night (Saturday) where thousands of fans left disappointed after the show was cancelled at the moment he was due to take the stage. The reason cited was “sickness.”
The event was widely promoted in the local LGBT and HIV community. PARN (Peterborough AIDS Resource) in particular had promoted the event by offering the chance to win tickets to their AIDS Walk’s top fundraisers. (I was lucky enough to win a pair of those tickets.)
So I was at that show at Peterborough Memorial Centre, a rather uninviting arena holding 5,000 people who’d paid $160 each to see the star. Here’s the odd sequence of events. The lights went down promptly at 8pm to cheers and whoops of enthusiasm. His intro music started up, played for a few minutes – and then the lights went on again. They stayed on for ten minutes. At precisely 8.10 pm came a voice over the loudspeakers with an apology. ”Ladies and gentlemen, the show has been cancelled, Sir Elton John is sick, he has lost his voice. Please keep your ticket stubs and listen for details of when the show will be rescheduled.”
Ptbo.com reports "Fans were in shock and many thought the announcement was a prank as it was announced at the last minute to a capacity crowd."
The issue is hot on social media today. One "source" suggests his last second cancellation may have been a hissy-fit, reporting the lights were turned out in his dressing room, presumably a mistake. On twitter, a popular tweet today is "In @Ptbo_Canada we no longer call in sick we call in #EltonJohn." His appearance at Holt Renfrew at 11am that day, and later at TIFF and at a private party are also being widely reported.
It was a bummer of an evening. But will it be a bummer too for the A-list crowd who’ve paid $1,500 for Fashion Cares tickets tonight where Elton is the star attraction?
Fashion Cares, scheduled for Toronto’s Sony Centre tonight, is the AIDS Committee of Toronto’s principle fundraiser, expected to raise $2-3 million.
All in all, it’s a bust. If he doesn’t play tonight, all those A-list fashionistas will be left disappointed. It will be devastating for the good folks at the AIDS Committee of Toronto too. If he does play, Peterborough fans will be left wondering whether they were given the bum’s rush last night.
The AIDS Committee of Toronto was unavailable for comment at press time.
For more on the Peterborough cancellation, read The Peterborough Examiner here.