Many fans of electronic music artist Tiesto have been sadly marching back to Ticketmaster to return their tickets after the Dutch musician called off his upcoming show in Prince George. Tiesto, born Tijs Michiel Verwest, was scheduled to appear on April 27, 2011 at the CN Center. Reasons given for the sudden cancellation are as a result of “unforeseen technical limitations” of the CN Center, though many fans feel that the venue specifications should have been more thoroughly assessed before announcing the show. CN Center manager Andy Beesley hopes to be able to reschedule the performance in the future, but this statement seems doubtful to many. Full refunds for the show will be issued to all ticket holders.
Ticket holder and CFUR programmer Landon Reed expressed his disappointment and opinion over the cancellation. “I’m really disappointed in seeing that he cancelled, especially due to the fact that Vancouver sold out within 6 minutes,” Reed stated. “I suspect that even though it was blamed on unforeseen technical difficulties… when I spoke with [Marketing Supervisor for the CN Centre] Glen Mikkelsen, he seemed really stressed out about ticket sales. They were at 1800 tickets, short of their 3500 break-even point for the show when I last spoke with him, about a month before it cancelled. It seemed the rumour floating around was that it was sold out, [which] possibly could have had to do with the low tickets sales. It’s really disappointing that a DJ of his calibre wouldn’t stick it out for his fans, considering this is Prince George’s first chance at seeing him. I believe that if he would have come it would have done WONDERS for the electronic scene here in Prince George, letting people realize that it isn’t as stereotypical as a “Rave”. It would have put us on the map for any future shows of touring DJ’s. This was our shot at having a scene, and we blew it. “
Reed also commented that he felt the prospect of bringing a DJ to town “shouldn’t have gone from zero to hero. Testing the water with a smaller DJ to play here in town would have warmed things up a bit, and let people have more of a taste of what could be.” He also felt that the promotion was not executed as effectively as it could have been, as “the posters that they had up around town probably had a lot to do with people not wanting to come. No one wants to go to a concert with what looks like an ego-centric tough guy’s face plastered on the whole poster. It’s also a shame that they didn’t announce the openers for the event. The Kelowna show (happens to be the day after the one scheduled here in PG) has Downlink, Excision, and Datsik all playing the opening set. That line up alone would have drawn out a HUGE crowd here in Prince, as those three DJ’s are on the very fore-front of the dubstep scene not just here in PG, but the world. With artists from the dubstep community such as Zeds Dead getting featured on Much Music, and Skrillex being under Mau5trap records and selling out shows across the world, the dubstep genre is not one that you screen from the public as “Special Guests”.” He felt that overall, the effort to promote the event on the CN Centre’s part was very minimal. “You can’t build a scene and excitement overnight by just announcing the event. It’s sad to think that now the CN Centre will think twice before ever having another DJ to Prince George. Reed added, “Also, no one really knew about the light show that he was bringing; that it was going to be more than just a DJ playing on the stage. Glen said it was the most money they’ve ever spent on having an artist come to PG, and he’s bringing the biggest light and sound we’ve ever seen here.”
Local volunteer programmers from CFUR Radio at the University of Northern British Columbia have been running weekly contests for ticket giveaways during Saturday evenings over the past month. The “Beat.wav” on CFUR 88.7 FM runs every Saturday night from 6-9pm and features dubstep, electronic, trance and other such genre, to which Reed has been tirelessly promoting. Beat.wav consists of three shows: “Dance To Trance from 6-7pm, hosted by Manny Grewal; “Databass” from 7-8pm, hosted by Myrin and Kai; and “Basshead” from 8-9pm, hosted by Sonny Gomez. The programmers had been using the upcoming Tiesto show as an opportunity to promote the presence of an electronic music community. The Beat.wav will still be continuing every Saturday, regardless of this disappointment, and the programmers hope that they won’t lose the interest of any listeners. The program has certainly jump started a growing community of electronic music lovers, and hopefully that growth will continue throughout the summer months. It’s evident that this cancellation has had a large effect on many fans in Prince George, and not just for reasons of simply seeing a popular DJ. With the continuing efforts and promotion of people like Reed, there’s hope that this will not be the last chance for Prince George to be put on the map for tour stops.