Maroon 5 Cancels China Tour

China leg of Maroon 5’s 2015 World Tour scheduled for September was reportedly scrapped in an announcement early this month. While promoter Live Nation did not mention the reason behind the cancellation, Chinese social media blamed a tweet from one of the band member’s tweet as the culprit. 072003 Keyboardist Jesse Carmichael ( Credit: Live Journal) Local Chinese newspaper reported that a Twitter post by keyboard player Jesse Carmichael greeting Dalai Lama on the latter’s 80th birthday sparked an outrage among the Chinese government, prompting the organizer to cancel the concert. “We hear musings about Maroon 5 being prevented from performing by our political friends up above,” Time Out’s Beijing edition wrote. “Meeting the Dalai Lama is all an artist needs to get a big X on their visa application.”

Maroon 5 was supposed to perform in Shanghai and Beijing on a two-night gig as part of its Asian leg for its 2015 World Tour that kicked-off in Dallas, USA last February 16. Aside from China, the band’s stops in Asia include Japan (September 1 and 2), Hong Kong (September 4), South Korea (September 6 and 7), Taiwan (September 14), Philippines (September 17), Singapore (September 19) and Thailand (September 21 and 22). In his Twitter account, Carmichael wrote about singing “happy birthday to his holiness” during Dalai Lama’s birthday in the United States. The tweet has since been removed after the controversy. The cancellation of the band’s concert has flooded social media site Weibo with polarizing arguments, with some condemning the band for its ‘insensitivity’, while others supporting Carmichael. “Does attending a friend’s birthday party equal agreeing with his political views?” one asked. “I believe Jesse did not mean any malice. I also understand the government’s attitude. The fans are the ones who suffer,” wrote another. But others are neither sympathetic nor amused, and supported the government’s move. “It is better they never set foot in China. Foreigners have no right to meddle our own internal affairs,” said one commenter. “They’ve nobody to blame but themselves. Anyone who supports Tibetan separatists deserves to be blacklisted. He has dragged his whole band down,” an obviously angry Twitter user added. Maroon 5 is not the first foreign act to earn the displeasure of the Chinese government for supporting the revered Tibetan spiritual leader who is a Nobel Peace Prize recipient in 1989 and has been in exile since 1959. Oasis and Linkin Park bands were both banned from entering China after performing in charity concerts in support of the Tibetan people. Bjork was slammed during a concert in Shanghai for calling an independence of the Tibetan government.
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