Taylor Swift Cancels Concert in Thailand Following Military Coup
Taylor Swift has canceled her upcoming concert in Thailand following a military coup in the country last Thursday. It would have been Swift's first performance there; it was the country's 12th successful military takeover of the government.
"I'm sending my love to the fans in Thailand," Swift tweeted Tuesday. "I'm so sad about the concert being canceled."
Local concert organizer BEC-Tero Entertainment said in a statement that it was pulling the plug on the planned June 9 show in Bangkok “due to recent events.”
“This has been a difficult decision for all parties,” the company said, adding that Swift expressed “regret and sincere apologies to the fans in Thailand.”
The military takeover in Thailand follows months of political instability and mass street protests calling for the ouster of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her ruling populist Pheu Thai Party. The protesters, aligned with the middle- and upper-class royalist establishment in Bangkok, allege that the government remained under the influence of the PM's billionaire brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, a divisive figure who led Thailand from 2001 to 2006 before being removed from power in an earlier coup and taking up residence in Dubai.
Following the latest takeover Thursday, the military leadership ordered key local TV channels and all international networks -- from the BBC to Disney -- to suspend broadcast in Thailand. A nationwide 10 p.m. curfew and ban on street gatherings remains in effect.
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 on Feb. 11.
Global talent began to step back from the country as the political situation worsened through the year, however. Eric Clapton canceled a gig in late February following a flare-up of violence in Bangkok, which resulted in the deaths of five people, four of them children.