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Last Updated: Friday, 10 October, 2003, 16:32 GMT 17:32 UK
Stones pulled from Sars concert
Mick Jagger
The Stones cancelled their tour to Hong Kong
The Rolling Stones' appearance at a Sars benefit concert in Hong Kong has been scrapped because of contract delays.

Organisers withdrew the offer for the band to play amid criticism they were being too highly paid for the gig.

The Hong Kong government is also under fire for agreeing to underwrite the three-week series of musical events to the tune of HK$80m (6.2m).

The Stones cancelled a Hong Kong gig earlier in the year at the height of the Sars outbreak in Asia.

The Harbour Fest event, starting on 17 October, aims to relaunch Hong Kong as a tourist spot following the Sars crisis.

During the outbreak, visitors were advised not to make non-essential visits to the territory.

"After a period of discussion with the Rolling Stones, during which we made them a firm offer and had a contract ready to be signed, we realised that the Rolling Stones were unable to commit to our offer in a timely manner," concert organisers said.

"We have, therefore, decided to withdraw our offer."

Prince and Irish boy band Westlife are still due to play during the series, organised by the American Chamber of Commerce and a government-funded promotions unit.

Although a fee offer for the Rolling Stones was kept secret there was speculation in the Hong Kong media that they were being overpaid for their services.

Stones play intimate London date
28 Aug 03  |  Entertainment
Stones still rocking and rolling
28 Aug 03  |  Entertainment
Bug halts Stones' China shows
28 Mar 03  |  Entertainment

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