Rihanna and Kanye West joint tour cancelled0
The joint-tour of the superstars Rihanna and Kanye West that was scheduled to start at Tallinn Song Festival Grounds on 25 July is cancelled. The leak of the event and the date of the opening night of the joint concert tour on the website of the Finnish office of the entertainment company Live Nation that seemed to confirm the rumour about a joint venture between Kanye and Rihanna was an incomprehensible mistake.
According to Eva Palm, the head promoter at Live Nation Estonia, they have had Rihanna’s concert tour ‘on the table’ since the start of 2013. The headquarters of Live Nation had got their hands on organising the whole of Rihanna’s European tour, and Palm managed to schedule a night in Tallinn between concerts in the Nordic and Eastern European countries following long negotiations.
Groundwork for Rihanna’s tour continued until the start of February 2015 during which time the event was always in the ‘will it-won’t it-will it-won’t it’ mode. Then Live Nation received information that Kanye West is also to join Rihanna. As this didn’t increase the concert price, such a course of events was basically a dream come true.
About the same time, the joint single FourFiveSeconds by Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney was released. Critics received the new song mostly positively. The trio performed the song at this year’s Grammy Awards Show in February. Everything seemed to be working out.
Live Nation’s Tallinn office had come up with the whole sales strategy and promotional and advertising campaign. A TV promo had been prepared using its own resources. The office was waiting for the managements of the artists to send the artwork for the advertising campaign, or in other words joint photos of Rihanna and Kanye West, in order to send the advertisement posters for printing. However, the arrival of photos stalled. “It started to feel like something was wrong,” says Eva Palm. “How hard can it be to photograph and design a poster? Still the process was stalling. One time it was because photos couldn’t be taken as Rihanna was ill. Then Kanye was somewhere in Paris. There was always something that prevented Rihanna and Kanye West from being on the same photo.”
Although all the offices of Live Nation knew that the tour is still on standby and it must not be announced yet, the website of the Finnish office put up information on 23 February that the tour would start in Tallinn on 25 July. The announcement was up on the internet for only 20 minutes. This was enough for a member of a Kanye West fan site to notice it and happily inform the others in the forum of that same Kanye to The fan site. From there, the piece of information was picked up by the world media and all hell broke loose.
Eva Palm: “We received quite a few phone calls. This should never have happened, under any circumstances, but someone in the Finnish office in charge of entering information in the system accidentally put out the information. The announcement was completely unexpected and the circumstances are totally confusing. No one is still quite sure exactly how it happened.”
At the start of March, the promoters at Live Nation’s branch offices met for an annual meeting in London. Everything regarding the major tour seemed positive. There was still hope that everything would go as planned. A few days after the London meeting, however, came the announcement that the whole tour is cancelled. No reasons were given.
“The promoters were told: We’re sorry this has happened but the tour won’t be taking place, sorry. We’ll see what happens and if this tour will ever take place,” says Eva Palm.
When the joint single from Rihanna, West and Paul McCartney was released on 24 January, rumours began that Kanye West isn’t just producing Rihanna’s new single that was said to include this particular single but that Rihanna and West are about to release an album together.
Margus Varusk, the sales manager of Universal Music Baltics that represents both artists, says, “When the single was released, rumours began that the pair will release an album together in the spring. Unfortunately, a few weeks later new information revealed that there will be no joint album. No other information or reasons have been disclosed. Any further comment would be speculation.”
Eva Palm, the head promoter at Live Nation, says, “This is just my guess on the situation. But I think that the managements of Kanye and Rihanna were simply not able to reach an agreement in all of the aspects. Both artists also have busy and tight schedules, so it proved to be impossible to make the schedules fit.”
Speculation on the joint tour of the artists was started by the hip hop site Complex at the start of February. The site said that in addition to the joint single, a tweet on Rihanna’s Twitter feed at the start of the year suggests that a joint tour is in the works. In her tweet, the pop star announced a charity auction for two Kanye West concert tickets with a starting price at 15,000 dollars. In addition to the tickets, these also included a meet-and-greet with the star, a pair of footwear designed by Kanye West and signed tour merchandise.
In 2008, Rihanna performed as a support act at Kanye West’s concerts during his Glow in the Dark tour.