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Monday 5 December 2016

Relief for fans as One Direction reschedule cancelled Belfast gig

One Direction poses backstage with their awards for Top Duo or Group and Top Touring Band during the 2015 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada May 17, 2015. REUTERS/L.E. Baskow
One Direction poses backstage with their awards for Top Duo or Group and Top Touring Band during the 2015 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada May 17, 2015. REUTERS/L.E. Baskow

One Direction have rescheduled their cancelled Belfast concert.

More than 12,000 fans were left bitterly disappointed on Tuesday night when the group cancelled the first of their three shows at the SSE Belfast Arena just minutes before the lads were due on stage.

However, tickets for the show are now valid for a new date at the venue on Friday October 23.

The two remaining shows, due to take place tonight and Thursday night, are going ahead as scheduled.

A statement from Aiken Promotions reads, "Tonight’s and Tomorrow Night's One Direction concerts in SSE Arena, Belfast will be going ahead as planned.

(Left to right) Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles of One Direction
(Left to right) Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles of One Direction

"Once again we apologise for the cancellation of last night’s One Direction show.  We thank everyone for their understanding and their good wishes to Liam.

Tuesday’s concert has been rescheduled for this Friday 23rd October. All tickets from last night's postponed concert will be valid for Friday.

For anyone not able to attend the rescheduled Show on Friday, please contact point of purchase for detail of how to obtain a refund."

One Direction Made in the AM
One Direction Made in the AM

The organisers also thanked the Belfast Giants and Sheffield Steelers ice hockey teams and fans for moving their game on Friday to accommodate One Direction.

Fans can contact the SSE Arena Box Office on (028) 9073 9074 and Ticketmaster customer services on importantnotice@ticketmaster.ie

The Belfast gig was cancelled as band member Liam Payne had reportedly taken ill with some reports suggesting it was food poisoning.

One Direction video Drag Me Down
One Direction video Drag Me Down

Devastated children, some as young as five-years-old, burst into tears at the news.

A statement issued on promoters Aiken Promotions website last night read, "The show tonight has been cancelled as Liam has taken ill, and whilst not serious , he is unable to perform tonight.

"Please hold on to your tickets. A further statement will be made in the morning. The band apologise to the fans and wish Liam better."

Some fans were particularly angry due to the expense they had incurred on tickets, accommodation, food, and travel, with some reporting they had spent up to £500.  Others had queued from the early morning to bag spots at the front of the arena.

Last, three of the band's members tweeted their apologies to fans.

"Deepest apologies to everyone at the show tonight in Belfast. Very disappointed, but unfortunately these things happen. We're very sorry. H," Harry Styles wrote from his personal account.

Louis Tomlinson also wrote to fans: "We're so so sorry for what happened tonight, it was out of our control ! Lots of love to Liam and thank you for being so understanding !"

Niall Horan wrote: "So sorry we have had to cancel tonight guys.  Unfortunately these things happen... Thank you to all who came down tonight !"

Fans have expressed their outrage and disappointment on social media, with many asking the band to return to Belfast.

"Yikes lots of sad fans heading home tonight," one tweeted.

Another tweeted: "absolute disgrace in Belfast tonight! Such a sin on them poor kids waiting to see you. Don't be surprised if you loose fans!!![sic]".

The hashtag '#GetWellSoonLiam' began to trend on Twitter just minutes after the cancellation.

Broadcaster Eamonn Holmes took to Twitter to voice his annoyance, "I don't care who was sick in One Direction. The rest of them should have had the decency and maturity to appear on stage and explain."

The scheduled show was part of the boys' 'On The Road Again' tour which saw them play three sold-out dates in Dublin at the weekend.

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