Alas, after months of excitement and anticipation, it wasn’t meant to be.
An unexpected nationwide network outage forced the postponement of singer, The Weeknd ‘s highly-anticipated After Hours Till Dawn tour – which was set to open up, yesterday in his hometown of Toronto.
When news of the outage first broke in the morning, I was thinking, ‘oh, great, this is some timing,’ because, in recent months, other major acts have had to cancel their shows for various reasons, so I was being cautiously optimistic.
When The Weeknd (whose real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye), himself shared a clip of the stage being set up on his IG feed in the early afternoon, it gave thousands of fans a sense of reassurance that the show was good to go.
I kept checking Twitter, hoping for some kind of update/announcement from the venue reiterating that the show would go on as planned, but when there was nothing, everyone naturally assumed it was business as usual.
But sometimes, no concrete news is not always good news.
Because who would abruptly cancel a show just 30 minutes before it was supposed to start?! With lineups at each gate extending well beyond the perimeter of the venue, fans were stunned and disappointed to be told over a loudspeaker that the show was being postponed.
In my humble opinion, if the venue knew that things were looking bleak, they could have and perhaps should have, announced the postponement much sooner in the day to avoid all the chaos that ensued once everyone was turned away.
How do you start setting up the soundstage and everything all day and then still eventually decide that you can’t go through with the show? Was it not already thought about from much earlier on that the outage would cause major challenges with scanning people’s tickets, and selling merchandise in a completely cashless facility?
Also, the fact that a major venue like the Rogers Centre did not appear to have a proper contingency plan for situations like this is baffling, to say the least. So many people and businesses rely on the Rogers network to function and for this level of widespread downtime to be justified, affecting so many areas in including emergency services, is outrageous.
Let’s also not forget about the many people that flew in from out of town for the show. And those that have had tickets since 2020 and are now dealing with a third cancellation of the show, after the tour was postponed twice due to COVID.
Anyways, we didn’t want our trek into town to feel like a total fail. (Navigating the Toronto transit system is an adventure in and of itself!) Thank goodness it was a beautiful, summer day, so we quickly went into pivot mode to salvage the evening.
Luckily, we managed to find a place that had an available reservation.
The restaurant we ended up at jokingly called it the Weeknd Redemption party because we were not the only ones that settled for a ‘pity’ impromptu dinner in light of the change in plans.
So as unfortunate as it was that we couldn’t enjoy the concert, we ended up having a nice, enjoyable, completely spontaneous evening.
Perhaps The Weeknd could consider rescheduling the Toronto date as the last date of his tour for impact. Instead of opening with a bang, he could end the tour on a high note in his hometown.
All of this simply reminds us that life is uncertain and you never know what is around the corner. All we can do is hope for the best.
Abel, we know you meant the best for your Toronto family, and you will get your chance to show that soon!
I leave you with one of my personal favourites off his latest album, Dawn FM.