Belfast Telegraph

Ed Sheeran cancels US concert amid St Louis protests

It is hoped the singer-songwriter will be able to return next year.

Ed Sheeran’s concert in the US has been cancelled after the acquittal of a white former police officer charged over the killing of a black man sparked protests.

Tickets for the Sunday night show at the Scottrade Centre in St Louis, Missouri, were sold out. But after police said they could not commit to a “sufficient” level of security in the wake of the demonstrations, the singer-songwriter’s gig was called off.

A statement from the Messina Touring Group on the venue’s Twitter page said the safety of fans was its biggest concern.

It added: “After consulting with local officials, who could not fully commit to providing a sufficient amount of police and other city services support, we felt it was in everyone’s best interest to cancel Sunday night’s show.

“While we regret to have had to come to this decision, we do look forward to returning to St Louis as soon as Ed’s schedule will allow in 2018.”

It was also decided that a concert by U2 planned for Saturday at The Dome at the America’s centre would also be cancelled.

Concert promoter Live Nation and the band said in a statement posted on Twitter: “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.

“We have also been informed that local crowd security personnel would not be at full capacity.

“In light of this information, we cannot in good conscience risk our fans’ safety by proceeding with tonight’s concert. As much as we regret having to cancel, we feel it is the only acceptable course of action in the current environment.”

Protests in the US city began on Friday after a judge cleared Jason Stockley over the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. Riot officers were forced to fire tear gas to disperse the crowds after the demonstrations turned violent.

Fans who purchased tickets online will be able to claim a refund.

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