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Sum 41 cancels Paris gig for fear of ‘explosive device’ — but it was reportedly a firecracker

Deryck Whibley from Sum 41 performs at Le Zenith on Jan. 17, 2020 in Paris, France.  .
Deryck Whibley from Sum 41 performs at Le Zenith on Jan. 17, 2020 in Paris, France. . David Wolff / Patrick/Redferns

Sum 41 made the decision to cancel their Jan. 18 show at Les Etoiles in Paris, France over the weekend after the band claimed an “explosive device” was detonated outside of the concert venue.

According to a since-deleted social media post from the Canadian punk rock outfit, the band’s crew was loading gear into the venue as an unidentified object exploded “just outside the door.”

“Due to the intimate nature of our performances, we are unable to guarantee the safety of the fans in attendance. We are deeply saddened to announce that tonight’s show has been cancelled,” the band wrote following the incident.

The gig at Les Etoiles was set to be the band’s second scheduled night in Paris on the long-awaited No Personal Space tour. Only one night prior, they played an uninterrupted 24-song set to a completely sold-out crowd at the Zenith indoor arena.

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Sum 41’s statement also came more than four years after a horrific mass shooting took place in Paris when three armed terrorists stormed the Bataclan theatre and claimed 90 innocent lives in the midst of an Eagles of Death Metal concert.

READ MORE: Sum 41’s Deryck Whibley talks ‘Order in Decline,’ anniversary shows and upcoming tour

Sum 41 confirmed the safety of all band and crew members as well as the fans who waited in line, saying there were no injuries.

Upon deletion of their initial statement, the Fat Lip headbangers issued another that did not include any mention of the incident.

Furthermore, several users took to Twitter — in both English and French — claiming that the “explosive device” was “just a firecracker.”

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“France has been though [sic] enough pain,” said another. “No need to add suspicion with such a blurry statement. It would be fair if you published a new one saying that it was a firecracker and that you just got confused.”

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Not only social media users but multiple news outlets, including Exclaim, reported the detonation came from a firecracker.

Venue manager Vincent Le Gall told Le Figaro that local “Yellow Vest” protesters had launched the firecrackers on their way to a different location.

He said the explosion occurred in a “small street,” was “minor” and “did not require calling the police.”

Le Gall added that the band “did not want to [proceed] with the concert” after discussing the situation with them for “three hours.” He suggested the Bataclan massacre likely played a part in the band’s decision to cancel.

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As of this writing, the band has yet to confirm whether or not the alleged explosion was actually a firecracker.

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Global News has reached out to a representative of Sum 41 seeking clarification on the matter.

Though it was only the band’s first statement that said they were “discussing options to schedule a makeup show as soon as possible,” both offered details on how concertgoers could get a refund for their tickets.

(L-R) Sum 41: Jason McCaslin, Dave Baksh, Deryck Whibley, Tom Thacker and Frank Zummo in 2019.
(L-R) Sum 41: Jason McCaslin, Dave Baksh, Deryck Whibley, Tom Thacker and Frank Zummo in 2019. Hopeless Records

Sum 41 will return to Canada on June 13 for a one-off performance in Burlington, Ont., for the inaugural Live On the Lake concert.

The In Too Deep rockers will be joined by Third Eye Blind. Select tickets for the event are available here.

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Currently, Sum 41 has no other scheduled shows in Canada. The band’s full touring itinerary can be found through its official website.

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Order in Decline, the band’s seventh and latest studio album, is now available through all major streaming platforms.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca