Fans have vented anger and frustration on social media at ticket agent Ticketek’s surprising insistence that Harry Styles’ mammoth Australian tour will go ahead in November.
The former One Direction star is currently scheduled to embark on a world tour in just over two weeks, starting with three dates in Mexico later this month – a country with more than 125,000 active coronavirus cases.
The tour will come to Australia in late November, with Styles booked to play multiple arena dates – including two sold-out nights at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena, which has a capacity of more than 14,000 people.
Melbourne is currently under one of the world’s toughest coronavirus lockdowns, with residents forced to abide by a 9pm curfew and only allowed to leave home each day for one of four valid reasons.
It’s hard to imagine 14,000 Melburnians cramming into a sold-out arena show in just 75 days’ time.
But, according to Styles’ local ticket seller Ticketek, that’s exactly what’s happening:
Styles is the only major touring artist not to have rescheduled their Australian 2020 tour dates as the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe in recent months. Planned arena shows by the likes of Rod Stewart, Alanis Morissette and the Backstreet Boys have all been pushed back to 2021. A planned November tour by The Killers is still listed on Ticketek’s website, but tickets have been withdrawn from sale along with a note from the band saying they want fans “to stay focused on prevention and remaining safe and cautious right now.”
While tickets to both of Styles’ Melbourne concerts have sold out, Ticketek is still selling seats for the pop star’s other Australian shows, including two concerts at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena (capacity 21,000), scheduled for November 20 and 21.
Further complicating matters: News this weekend that Styles had signed on to star in a new thriller from director Olivia Wilde that’s due to start filming in the coming months.
Ticketek’s insistence that the tour is “proceeding as planned” was met with frustration from hundreds of fans, who dubbed the ticket seller as “delusional” and called on them to announce a cancellation:
Styles’ Australian tour was first announced back on March 11, roughly one week before sweeping nationwide lockdowns saw many Australians confined to their homes for much of the next few months.
Ticketek’s controversial tweet comes as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews today dashed any hopes Melbourne’s reopening date could be brought forward given how well regional Victoria was doing with coronavirus case numbers.
“It is highly unlikely we will meet those case number thresholds,” he said, speaking of the October 26 proposed date for metropolitan Melbourne’s move from step three.
“It is not just about numbers, but about the passage of time.”