Eric Clapton Cancels Concert in Thailand Amid Escalating Political Violence
As gun battles are now a near nightly occurrence on the streets of Bangkok, the rock legend decided to give the city a miss.
Eric Clapton has canceled his concert in Bangkok, as political violence in the Thai capital continues to worsen.
“Due to recent events, Eric Clapton’s management has decided to postpone his Bangkok concert this Sunday,” said local concert organizer BEC-Tero Entertainment, which was handling Clapton’s Bangkok show.
"[Clapton] looks forward to playing in Bangkok in the future,” the statement added.
While the company declined to explain the precise cause of the cancelation, the "recent events" alluded to were surely the increased violence surrounding the political protests that have paralyzed the usually peaceful Southeast Asian nation.
At least 21 people have been killed and over 700 injured in clashes between police and anti-government protesters in Thailand since the crisis began in November.
Protestors in Bangkok have been rallying to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her ruling Pheu Thai Party for four months, alleging that the government remains under the influence of the PM's billionaire brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, a divisive figure who was prime minister from 2001 to 2006 before being removed from power in a military coup and taking residence in Dubai.
Yingluck has so far refused to step down and the military has said it won't intervene. Thailand's 86-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a revered figure in the country who has stepped in to defuse past crises, has made no statement so far.
In recent days, scattered gun battles between parties aligned with the protestors and the government -- the protestors are comprised mostly of middle-class Bangkok residents, with the backing of the royal elite, while the Yingluck government gets its support from the rural poor in the country's northeast -- have erupted on a near-nightly basis. Many are now talking about the possibility of a civil war.
Bombings and shootings last weekend resulted in the deaths of five people, four of them children.
Thailand has long been a bankable Asian destination for big-name international musicians and pop stars. Last year, Justin Bieber's Believe Tour hit the city, and Avril Lavigne performed in Bangkok as recently as Feb. 11.
Bruno Mars is still scheduled to take to the stage on March 20.
Having recently played Tokyo, the next stop for Clapton on his Asia tour will be Singapore on March 4, before he flies to gigs in Dubai and Bahrain.