OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Thousands of country music fans were awaiting singer Morgan Wallen when he suddenly canceled his performance Sunday night at Vaught Hemingway Stadium.
Video boards inside the Ole Miss football stadium showed a message saying the “Thought You Should Know” singer had lost his voice and was unable to perform, adding that people would be refunded their money where they bought the tickets.
Some people expressed anger on social media because the announcement of the cancellation came after the opening acts had performed.
Fans said they’d paid big money for a concert that turned out to be a big disappointment.
“I don’t think I’ll completely stop being a fan, but I might not listen to his music for a little while,” said Abigail Schultz, a junior at the University of Mississippi. “Pretty much everyone, including myself, thought it was a joke. When they announced that he wasn’t going to be coming on I thought it was part of the show.”
But it was no joke, sending fans into a state of shock.
“People that were talking about driving 10 hours to come to the concert or flying, so I know they invested a lot of money to come to the concert,” Schultz said.
While she says she only paid about $90 for her ticket, some concertgoers spent more.
Addisyn Harvey, a U of M freshman, said she’d paid $250 for her ticket — but she got lucky. She saw Wallen’s show on Saturday, which went off without a hitch.
“I think we were just really lucky and it does suck for the people that never got to see him, and it is sad,” she said.
No reason was given as to what may have caused Wallen to lose his voice, but rumors were flying on campus after Sunday’s cancellation.
“There’s a lot of speculation that he went out to the Square Saturday night, and that’s the reason he wasn’t able to perform on Sunday,” said Makayla Russel, who got to see Wallen’s show Saturday.
Concert goers were advised refunds for Sunday night’s concert would be available at “point of purchase.”
While Wallen is one of country music’s biggest stars, he’s no stranger to controversy. He was caught on camera in 2021 outside a home in Nashville, Tennessee, yelling profanities and a racial slur. He apologized at the time but was suspended indefinitely from his label and his music was pulled by radio stations and streaming services.
The year before, Wallen was arrested for public intoxication and disorderly conduct after getting kicked out of a downtown Nashville bar.
The sudden cancellation concluded what was supposed to be two consecutive nights of performances by one of the hottest stars in country music. Saturday night’s show appeared to be a huge success with thousands showing up for the first concert in the stadium’s history.
The first concert in the stadium’s history was a bust for some, but a highlight for others.
“The crowd was very engaged, very alive. Probably the best concert I will ever go to,” Hannah Baumbach said.
Oxford Police issued a statement after the weekend’s concerts:
“Overall, it was a good weekend. Each night was a little unique. Traffic was the biggest concern and puzzle that we tried to fix. Trying to get baseball off campus while also trying to get the concert crowd on was difficult. It’s very similar to an early football kickoff when the crowds arrive at the same time. When people can tailgate and trickle in slowly, it makes for an easier intake. When you have almost 10,000 people trying to leave with 40,000 trying to arrive, it’s going to create a standstill in locations. We made some adjusts on Sunday night to try to flow preconcert traffic better. We were more successful on Sunday night.
“We saw large crowds on the Square. The crowds were well behaved. We had a handful of arrests for the entire city. We did not have any major safety issues. I know everyone was disappointed with how Sunday night ended but we are thankful for their patience and understanding. It was a strain on first responders to make adjustments on the fly and we understood people were going to be upset. Our goal was to work hard to at least help them get home efficiently as possible. I’m thankful that we were able to keep people safe and for the hard work that everyone put in.”