Bon Jovi's China concerts called off by organiser
TWO upcoming concerts in China by American rock group Bon Jovi - who have previously included imagery of the Dalai Lama in a show - have been suddenly cancelled, reports said on Tuesday.
Bon Jovi was scheduled to play on two dates - in Beijing and Shanghai - but ticket sales were abruptly halted with no reason given and the performances scrapped, according to local blogs.
The ticket sellers, Damai.cn, confirmed that they had stopped selling tickets at the behest of the concert organisers, but were not told why.
"The concert is likely to be cancelled and we are still waiting for confirmation," said a customer service agent for Damai. "We do not know the specific reasons."
Jon Bon Jovi, frontman of the band, recently recorded a video of him singing in Mandarin ahead of the concerts.
Some speculated the shows may have been cancelled because of Bon Jovi's inclusion of imagery of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader in shows with one blogger writing, "seems somebody spent a bit too much time with the saffron robe crowd", referring to Tibetan monks' robes.
The band featured images of the Dalai Lama in a video that played in several concerts - including in Washington - in 2010, according to reports at the time.
Maroon 5 cancelled its China concert in July after the authorities refused permission because a band member had met the Dalai Lama.
Chinese officials have been especially sensitive about live concerts since Bjork chanted "Tibet" during her song Declare Independence in 2008.
The authorities censor content they deem to be politically sensitive or obscene, while international music acts are required to submit set lists for major concerts in advance.
Last year, the suggestive lyrics of Honky Tonk Women were apparently too much for China's cultural authorities as the Rolling Stones said the chart-topping song was "vetoed" for their show.