Mar 5 2013
Pop superstar Justin Bieber has apologised to fans for keeping them waiting with a late-running gig which left some young devotees in tears, while many had to leave just minutes into his performance.
He said there was "no excuse" for his late arrival and added that he was sorry about those he had upset.
The singer had been playing the first of a run of nights at London's O2 Arena on Monday, but many of his school-age fans were forced to leave early to meet parents or catch trains home.
Some fans said he had not taken to the stage until 10.30pm, but Bieber posted a string of messages on Twitter saying this had been "exaggerated". And the 19-year-old Canadian - who claimed he was only 40 minutes late - also went on to grumble about the media.
In his online message, he said: "Waking up to a crazy day. Last night I was scheduled after three opening acts to go on stage at 9.35 not 8.30, but because of some technical issues I got on at 10.10. So I was 40 minutes late to stage.
"There is no excuse for that and I apologise for anyone we upset. However it was (a) great show and I'm proud of that and tonight we will run on time and look forward to putting on an amazing show for everyone in attendance.
"My relationship with the media is not always easy but I'm trying. I'm all about the music and the performance and I respect my fans. I never have any intent to upset or let anyone down. And I'm not OK with things being exaggerated. Once again sorry for anyone upset. Now we have a show to do today and I'm gonna focus on the positive and put on a great show tonight here in London."
Fans were left angry and disappointed, with some booing as they awaited his arrival. Many of his young admirers had been expecting to be getting ready to head home by the time he actually took to the stage, with some parents waiting to pick them up confused by what was happening inside the venue.
One parent, Wayne Parsonage, complained on Twitter: "Disgusting. Waste of my time and money... never again." Louise Cooper, who had taken her nine-year-old daughter to the show, said: "He should have been done by 10.30pm and at that time he had only just started. The ladies sitting with us had to leave after 20 minutes and they had spent 70 quid each on a ticket, which is really bad."
Tracey Wilson, from Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire, had taken her teenage daughter, and the pair were left stranded after missing the train home and instead had to be collected by her husband. She told BBC Radio 5 Live: "There was no apology to say why or 'I'm really sorry' or to say something's happened. It's disgusting. It got to about 9.30 and they were starting to boo - you'd think someone would have come on then."