TORONTO – Concert promoter Live Nation apologized Tuesday after fans stood in line for hours as rumours swirled about a surprise Prince concert at Toronto’s Massey Hall.
“Live Nation wants to apologize for any inconvenience experienced by Prince and his fans in Toronto when Ticketmaster posted incorrect concert information on their website earlier today,” read a statement on Facebook.
“The only reservation was for a production rehearsal. There was no concert scheduled for today.”
Whispers that the Purple Rain singer would take to the stage with his all-female band 3rdeyegirl started late Monday, fuelled by a cryptic tweet from the band in which Toronto was spelled backwards.
“4th day of November, we need a purple high: OTNOROT CALLING…,” read the tweet.
The tweet was deleted just after 8:30 a.m.
Fans who lined up all day in hopes of getting tickets to see the pop legend weren’t told until after 3 p.m. that there was no concert.
So, questions linger. If no concert was scheduled, why did Live Nation wait so long to announce there would be no concert — when it knew people were waiting in the cold and rain? Why did crews erect metal barricades to contain the line-up outside the venue?
Late Tuesday, Shure Media Group issued a statement on behalf of 3rdeyegirl.
“We are thankful for the outpouring of love and support and apologize for any confusion surrounding the anticipated performance tonight. Our technical crew is set up in Toronto to rehearse lighting and sound for possible future performances.”
The statement added: “There is not a scheduled performance tonight; there was never confirmation of a show.”
Several music industry insiders contacted by Global News scoffed at the claim that gear was set-up on the Massey Hall stage to rehearse lighting and sound.
In a series of tweets late Tuesday, Toronto-born 3rdeyegirl guitarist Donna Grantis thanked fans for their support and apologized for the confusion.
Drummer Hannah Welton said on Twitter there was “a total mix up” and “there was never a show confirmed.”
Warner Music Canada had no comment and Prince was reportedly in New York City.
The 56-year-old singer has performed numerous times at venues in Toronto and called the city home for several years in the early 2000s while married to locally-born Manuela Testolini.
“I love Toronto,” he told the Canadian Press in 2004. “It’s cosmopolitan. There’s all sorts of different kinds of people everywhere you go in Toronto, there’s all sorts of great music, great restaurants, great night spots that don’t respond to a lot of American playlists and have playlists which I really dig.
“It’s a real melting pot in every sense of the word.”