Friday, July 12, 2024

Nicki Minaj cancels headlining gig in Romania over safety concerns amid planned protests

Nicki Minaj abruptly canceled her headlining Sunday night performance at the Saga Festival in Bucharest, Romania, over safety concerns related to protests in the city planned for Monday.

“Out of concern for the well-being of our team and myself, I have been advised by my security detail not to travel to Romania’s festival tonight,” the Grammy-nominated rapper said Sunday in a statement on X, formerly Twitter.

“As a mom, I have to make sure I’m making sound decisions for me to make it home to my son and for my team to make it home to their families,” Minaj said. “To not heed the advice of security at this time is simply not what I think I should be doing. I love you and thank you for your understanding and support.”

Saga Festival followed up on its Instagram, posting Minaj’s tweet and writing, “The news has left us all devastated, and we know it’s a huge disappointment for all of you, just as it is for us.”

The music festival said full refunds would be given for unscanned tickets and partial refunds for scanned tickets.

Adding to the festival’s woes, DJ Hardwell, a Friday headliner along with Rita Ora, abruptly halted his performance Friday due to his frustrations with Saga, which he says had not paid him and provided terrible equipment. In a video posted on X, the Dutch DJ said, “They didn’t pay me any f— money to be here tonight, but I’m still here. … Listen Saga, if I’m here for you guys, I want to perform for you guys. The whole equipment, everything is letting me down. I can’t perform. It’s impossible for me to perform.”

Saga responded to Hardwell on Instagram, writing, “The equipment traveled all the way from the Netherlands, just like you. … We’ve worked so hard to build this year’s Saga for our artists and ravers. We would’ve solved any technical issues effortlessly and fast, if you would’ve let us and not stopped your set so soon. We’ve done all we could to accommodate your requests, including agreed payments.”

Canceled shows are not new for Minaj. In May, the “Super Bass” rapper was detained at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam for possession of what Dutch police termed “soft drugs,” just as she was preparing to fly to Manchester for a scheduled performance. Despite being fined and released, she missed the show, attributing the ordeal to deliberate obstruction.

In her Sunday statement, Minaj said she was “very excited to see my fans this Friday in London for another very special headlining show at Wireless Festival” when the Pink Friday 2 World Tour resumes.

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