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Protests lead U2, Ed Sheeran and St. Louis Symphony to cancel shows

U2 in concert
Danny North


The ongoing protests over a judge’s decision to find former police officer Jason Stockley not guilty of murder in the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith have led major entertainment venues to cancel events.

Tonight’s scheduled concert by U2 at the Dome at America’s Center has been canceled, as has Sunday’s show by singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran at Scottrade Center.

 The St. Louis Symphony also has canceled its concert for tonight.

In a statement, Live Nation and U2 announced that they decided to cancel the show after St. Louis police informed them that the department could not provide enough officers for security.

Police officers throughout the region have been working long shifts after a judge found former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith. The verdict sparked widespread protests and prompted a number of cancellations.

  Deeply saddened at what has happened in St. Louis and having to cancel our show tonight….I found myself reading Dr. King’s speech from the National Cathedral and asking myself is this 1968 or 2017? - Bono “Human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability….we are coming to ask America to be true to the huge promissory note that it signed years ago. And we are coming to engage in dramatic nonviolent action, to call attention to the gulf between promise and fulfillment; to make the invisible visible.” A post shared by U2 Official (@u2) on Sep 16, 2017 at 12:07pm PDT

The U2 show is the latest.

"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," promoters and the band said in the statement. "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."

Fans who purchased tickets online will receive a refund on the credit card they used to order tickets. Refunds for non-Internet purchases will be available starting at 10 a.m. Monday, where they were purchased.

U2’s Joshua Tree Tour marks the 30th anniversary of its most notable album.

Security also was a concern for the Messina Touring Group, which handles Sheeran’s shows, said

“With the safety of the fans being of upmost concern, and 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,” the organization said in a statement. 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.”

Fans who purchased tickets for the Sheeran show through Ticketmaster will automatically be issued a refund on the credit card tickets were ordered on, the promoters said. Fans who purchased tickets at the Scottrade Center Box Office may come to the box office starting at 10 a.m. Monday for a refund.

St. Louis Symphony officials already had canceled a show scheduled for Friday. They said the Sunday afternoon matinee is sold out, so there will be no exchanges. A decision on the Sunday show will be made by 10 a.m.

Follow David on Twitter: @dpcazares

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Scottrade Center. We regret the error.


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