Celine Dion's Beijing show cancelled: media

Wed Apr 2, 2008 12:45am EDT
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BEIJING (Reuters) - Canadian pop superstar Celine Dion's April 13 Beijing concert has been cancelled because the organizers failed to obtain a permit despite selling thousands of tickets, local media reported.

But an official with China's Culture Ministry on Wednesday said the singer's concert had been approved.

The Beijing Evening News on Tuesday quoted a spokesman for the singer as denying earlier media reports that Dion had postponed her concert at the 64,000-seat Workers Stadium due to concern that the city's sandstorm-afflicted spring weather could affect her recovery from a recent throat infection.

The spokesman said the real reason for the cancellation was that the concert's organizer "had sold more than 10,000 tickets, having not carried out the approval process," the Beijing Evening News said on Tuesday, citing a statement from the spokesman.

"Celine Dion will solve (the issue) through legal channels," the paper quoted the statement as saying.

An official in the department involved in event approvals at the culture ministry said on Wednesday that Dion's Beijing concert had been approved.

"The concert was approved. You should check with the organizers," the official, surnamed Pan, told Reuters by telephone.

Officials at Dion's concert organizer, Emma Ticketmaster, were not available for comment. Staff contacted at the company's sales hotline said Dion's concert had been "postponed for health reasons," and ticket-holders could get refunds, but no new date had been fixed.

The company's Web site on Wednesday advertised Dion's Beijing concert without attaching a date. Dion would perform her first concert in China in Shanghai on April 11, according to the Web site.   Continued...

<p>Canadian singer Celine Dion performs on stage in Johannesburg February 14, 2008. REUTERS/Antony Kaminju</p>