Hello, Lionel Richie, it’s you they’re looking for.
To the ire of fans, the “Hello” performer left a sold-out Madison Square Garden crowd hanging on Saturday evening, announcing that he could not make the performance about one hour after it was scheduled to begin. Earth, Wind & Fire were also scheduled to perform as a part of the Sing a Song All Night Long tour, and also canceled.
“Due to severe weather and being unable to land in the NY and surrounding areas, I’m unable to make it to the show tonight,” Richie, a Los Angeles resident, wrote in a statement shared on social media, adding that the show would be rescheduled to Monday night. “I’m so bummed.”
Despite the promise that ticket holders would have their passes honored just two days later, fans made their disappointment known, with @howdy_imjack commenting in a tweet, “Thank you so much for announcing this an hour after the show was supposed to start.”
“Can’t believe this,” wrote @ISellJohnstonNC, who said they had flown in from North Carolina for the weekend to catch the show. “Hotel, Airfare, Ubers, Dinner…. this is a $4,000 ‘bummer’ for me. Some of us can’t make the Monday show and are now stuck. Bummed is shallow and pathetic.”
Another user, @realjwalsh, said he had bought his parents “good seats for a lot of money for their 50th wedding anniversary.”
“They’re 75 and were really looking forward to tonight’s show,” he continued. “Thanks for ruining the gift we got for them.”
While many fans questioned the “All Night Long” singer’s weather excuse, trying to sniff out another reason for the postponement, a thunderstorm did blow through New York, New Jersey and Connecticut on Saturday evening, downing trees in the process with flash flood warnings continuing into Monday.
The postponed show has had ripple effects: A Bridgeport, Conn., performance by Earth, Wind & Fire that was originally scheduled for Monday was bumped to Wednesday to clear the way for their makeup show with Richie at MSG. Yankees Hall of Famer Derek Jeter was scheduled for a Monday meet-and-greet and Q&A at Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater with Earth, Wind & Fire for a charity event, with part of the proceeds going to benefit the former baseball player’s Turn 2 Foundation. However, the amphitheater announced Monday that Jeter would not be able to attend on the new Wednesday date, citing a prior commitment.
Richie and Earth, Wind & Fire embarked on their 20-show tour earlier this month, with their most recent stop in Boston’s TD Garden on Friday. Their tour is scheduled to end on Sept. 15 at the Kia Forum in Inglewood. Richie will perform the following day at Yaamava’ Theater in San Bernardino County, and then play six shows at Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas in October.
Despite the busy touring schedule, ABC announced last month that Richie would return as a judge for Season 22 of “American Idol” alongside Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, along with longtime “Idol” host and new “Wheel of Fortune” host Ryan Seacrest. The new season, expected to begin filming this fall, is set to air next spring.