Thunderstorms and lightning forced Ed Sheeran to cancel Thursday’s sold-out outdoor concert at Hong Kong Disneyland, leaving 20,000 fans scrambling to seek shelter from the high winds and lashing rain.
According to the South China Morning Post, show promoters didn’t inform the crowd the performance had been axed until 9:20 p.m. local time, instead pushing back the set repeatedly as they waited for the weather to let up. Many in the crowd had been waiting since doors opened at 4 p.m., with only free plastic ponchos to keep them dry.
A forecast for the storm was issued by the Hong Kong Observatory at 5:05 p.m., the South China Morning Post reported, and was extended again to 9:30 p.m. around 7 p.m.
The “Thinking Out Loud” singer, 28, apologized in an Instagram story around 9 p.m. local time, saying the show had been canceled.
“Hey to everyone in Hong Kong at the show,” Sheeran said. “Yeah, sorry about that. It literally had nothing to do with me. I’m here, all the crew are here, set up, sound checked, ready to go. And then they told us there was a lightning storm and that we’d just wait it out. … The later it got, they were just saying, ‘Another half-hour, another half-hour, another half-hour,’ and now they’ve just pulled the show. It’s nothing to do with me.”
“I’m so sorry that people have come out and waited in the rain and got wet for no show,” he continued. “There will obviously be refunds, so look out for that, I’ll post information about that. But yeah, I’m very, very sorry for wasting your time.”
Later, Sheeran followed up that message with a post on Instagram, apologizing again for the last-minute decision and the lack of communication to the crowd.
“I wasn’t allowed on stage yesterday, none of my team were either,” Sheeran wrote. “We all thought the lightning would pass and we’d get to do the show, but it didn’t, and then the show had to be canceled.”
“I apologize to each and every fan that waited for so long in the rain, and I promise you, before the year is done, I will be back to make it up to you,” he said, adding that he was “in the process of making plans.”
“Love you all, and sorry again x,” Sheeran concluded.
View this post on Instagram
I wasn’t allowed on stage yesterday, none of my team were either. We all thought the lightening would pass and we’d get to do the show, but it didn’t, and then the show had to be cancelled. I apologise to each and every fan that waited for so long in the rain, and I promise you, before the year is done, I will be back to make it up to you.
A post shared by Ed Sheeran (@teddysphotos) on Apr 19, 2019 at 3:17am PDT
This is the second time Sheeran has left his “Sheerios” in Hong Kong stranded.
After breaking his right wrist and left elbow in a bike accident back in 2017, Sheeran was forced to cancel his performance in the Chinese city (as well as in Taipei, Osaka, Seoul, and Tokyo).
He was able to make it up to some of his fans. Thursday’s canceled show was actually his second night at Hong Kong Disneyland. He took the stage there first on Wednesday night, to much acclaim.
Sheeran is next scheduled to perform in Seoul, South Korea, on Sunday.