A Carnlough mother says her 11-year-old daughter has been left broken-hearted after last night’s One Direction concert at the SSE Airtricity Arena in Belfast was cancelled due to Liam Payne falling ill.
Pádraigín Uí Bhaoill told the Times that her daughter Monique and niece Bernice Campbell, 21, had received tickets to the concert as a Christmas present last year, and had been looking forward to the event for 10 months.
Aiken Promotions have just announced that the cancelled gig will now take place on Friday.
In a statement Aiken Promotions said: “Tonight’s and Tomorrow Night’s One Direction concerts in SSE Arena, Belfast will be going ahead as planned.
“Once again we apologise for the cancellation of last night’s One Direction show.
“We thank everyone for their understanding and their good wishes to Liam.
“Tuesday’s concert has been rescheduled for this Friday 23rd October. All tickets from last night’s postponed concert will be valid for Friday.
“For anyone not able to attend the rescheduled Show on Friday, please contact point of purchase for detail of how to obtain a refund.”
However, Pádraigín says she feels that the cancellation of the event could have been handled better.
“My niece drove up with Monique and the girls had to sit for two to three hours before they were told that the show had been cancelled,” Pádraigín revealed.
“I had spent £75 on each of the tickets and the girls had spent an extra £40 at the arena, so it came to nearly £200 in total not including diesel for an event which never happened,
“Monique had got a special outfit as well and she was so excited about seeing them.”
Fans were entertained by support act Jamie Lawson for three hours before a representative emerged onstage at the last minute to announce that the band would not appear.
Concert promoter Aiken PR stated at the time: “The show tonight has been cancelled as Liam has taken ill, and whilst not serious, he is unable to perform tonight.”
The information was greeted with tears and boos from the thousands of fans inside the arena.
Pádraigín says she was “disgusted” at the way the announcement was handled.
“The girls had to sit there for three hours and they must have known earlier that he wasn’t able to perform, so why didn’t they tell everyone sooner?” she asked.
“It was a disgrace the way they handled it and when they announced it Monique actually thought it was a joke.
“A lot of wee girls and teenagers were disappointed and crying.
“They then had to wait for an hour and a half to get the taxi back to the park and ride and they got soaked.
“When they got home Monique was upset and downcast, it was a disaster.”
Pádraigín and the girls are now holding onto their tickets for Friday’s concert.
“Monique still wants to go and see them, it hasn’t dampened her enthusiasm, said her mum.
After the concert, members of One Direction tweeted apologies to their disappointed fans.
Harry Styles wrote: “Deepest apologies to everyone at the show tonight in Belfast. Very disappointed, but unfortunately these things happen. We’re very sorry.”
Louis Tomlinson added: “We’re so so sorry for what happened tonight, it was out of our control! Lots of love to Liam and thank you for being so understanding!”