Gigs & Festivals

Bieber not fined for O2 over run, but feeling pressure of late show furore

By | Published on Thursday 7 March 2013

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber has not been fined for running past a curfew at The O2 on Monday night. As previously reported, Bieber didn’t appear on stage until after 10pm at the first London date of his current UK tour, despite the venue advertising an 8.30pm start time (he subsequently claimed the planned kick off was actually 9.30pm). The delay meant many of his young fans were up well past their bedtime, while others were dragged out of the show by their parents before the singer even appeared, assuring bedtime was met, but with plenty of tears before it.

Reports then circulated yesterday that, as well as pissing off his fans (or, rather, their legal guardians) Bieber had also been fined £10,000 for every minute he performed past the venue’s 11pm curfew – 30 in total, resulting in a fine of £300,000 for him or his promoter. However, says the council, this is not the case, it imposing no such curfew or fines on artists playing the O2 Arena, which, being in the middle of a big fat dome, and surrounded by several acres of windy car parks, doesn’t have many noise pollution issues.

A statement from Greenwich Council reads: “Contrary to [reports], The Royal Borough Of Greenwich has not taken any action against the owners of the O2 Arena in relation to Justin Bieber’s recent performance, as no breach of our licensing conditions took place. It is simply a contractual issue between AEG and the artist involved, as there is no requirement for performances to finish by 11pm”.

It continued: “The O2 is the world’s most popular entertainment venue and sells over two million tickets each and every year as it plays host to many of the world’s biggest names. We take any complaints made in relation to the venue very seriously, but it is an urban myth to suggest that we have ever levied a fine in relation to a performance there”.

So, no six figure bill to pay, though that doesn’t mean the Bieber is happy. The British media is getting to the poor boy, with its rampant speculation as to why exactly that Monday night show went up late (the allegation being that the popstar was being a petulant brat and refusing to stick to a pre-agreed schedule, choosing to play videogames instead). Latest tabloid reports say the star got a dressing down at Universal’s London HQ about the PR disaster yesterday, with the major’s US chiefs Skyping in their rage.

Bemoaning all the tabloid chatter, Bieber yesterday took to Twitter, Courtney Love-style (in that he rambled on aimlessly via a plethora of consecutive tweets, though to be fair he was slightly more coherent and didn’t libel anyone), writing the following: “Rumors, rumors and more rumors. Nothing more, nothing less. Might talk about them one day. [Right] now I’m just gonna be positive. Can’t bring me down. I’m focused on the good things in life. I’m blessed and not forgetting it. I’m giving back every day for it. Can’t phase me. Fake stories to sell papers I guess are part of the job. But I’m a good person. I know that. You cant tell me different. We know the truth”.

He rambled on: “As long as my family, friends, and fans are with me you can say whatever. We are all equal in God’s eyes and we have a responsibility to each other. Say when I came out of my show with my shirt off, because after performing for two hours I might be sweaty, I was going into a club (really?). Or any girl I stand next to is my girl, or that I don’t care, or that I don’t feel, or that a nineteen year old going to a club in Europe is wild. I understand it is part of the job to be judged… but judge me on the facts, judge me on the music, and be careful of the judgement you pass”.

And more: “But know this… I’m only judged by one power, and I serve him. So yeah I will continue being me. I will continue to serve, to perform, to care, to love, to smile, to dance, to play, to sing… and you are welcome to join, because I carry no hate. We got too much love for that. I’m about the music. Gonna enjoy the day and keep smiling. So should all of you. Much love. I see you beliebers = I love you”.

Not sure who the “one power” doing the judging is. Nor whether they were on that Skype call.