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Monday, 11 November, 2002, 18:29 GMT
Singer blames venue for Roses riot
Vancouver city
Vancouver: His band were there, Axl Rose was late

Gun N' Roses lead singer Axl Rose has blamed a venue in Vancouver, Canada for the concert riot that led to damage estimated at $100,000 (42,500) on Thursday night.

Disgruntled fans used planters, steel barricades and concrete rubbish bins to smash glass doors at the city's General Motors Place when the concert - the first on the North American leg of the band's Chinese Democracy tour - was cancelled minutes before it was due to start.

Police arrested 12 rioters and are still seeking other ringleaders.

Around 8,000 fans had arrived to watch the band, without knowing that Rose was still hours away, stuck in Los Angeles.

Cancelled

With his backing group warming up but no sign of the lead singer, venue staff announced the show's cancellation.

GM Place general manager Harvey Jones said the decision to cancel this show was made only when it was recognised the band could not take to the stage at a reasonable time.

Rose says he only learned about the cancellation when he was on the plane heading to Vancouver.
Axl Rose
Axl Rose: Guns N' Roses have not toured North America for nine years

In a weekend interview with Seattle rock radio station KISW, Rose said the band was able to play and the decision to cancel was made solely by the venue manager without telling anybody.

Some fans - many of whom remembered the band cancelling a Vancouver show in 1992 - began to riot after the last-minute announcement.

'Riot'

Doors and windows around the venue were attacked before more than 120 police officers arrived on the scene.

Some rioters were involved in pitched battles with police, and concrete blocks were dropped on some officers from a nearby overpass.

While no fans were reported injured, several police received cuts and bruises.

"At 7:35, it was a crowd milling about. At 7:36, it was a full-blown riot," said Vancouver Deputy Chief Constable Gary Greer.

Rose said his band is looking at possible legal action against the venue.

"We were going to play a show and the plug got pulled on us. We don't really know what happened," he told KISW listeners.

Technical difficulties hit Guns N' Roses' next show at Tacoma, Washington State on Friday night, which Rose did make it on time to.

Reports said the sound system was so distorted Rose strained his voice trying to make himself heard.

See also:

23 Aug 02 | Entertainment
04 Sep 01 | Entertainment
06 Nov 02 | England
26 Aug 02 | Entertainment
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