The Weeknd Pulls the Plug on Pre-VMAs Party Two Hours Before Start Time

A performance by The Weeknd ahead of Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards was abruptly canceled on Friday night (Aug. 25) two hours ahead of showtime. Organizers of the event, sponsored by Grey Goose Vodka and celebrating the brand’s 20th anniversary, cited “unforeseen production issues,” but Weeknd sources tell Variety the proper permits were not secured.

Billed as a “private concert with The Weeknd,” the bash was due to take place at Werkartz, a production space in downtown Los Angeles that features sound stages in a space of nearly 10,000 square feet. The performance was scheduled to kick off at 10:30 p.m. Guests who had RSVP’d were notified just before 8:30 p.m. that the event was cancelled.

Among the celebrity guests expected were Emily Ratajkowski, Swizz Beatz, Rosario Dawson, and Bebe Rexha. DJ and fashion designer Virgil Abloh (aka Flat White) was set to open the party, which featured Grey Goose cocktails and hors d’oeuvres by chef Ludo Lefebvre, of Trois Mec fame.

The Weeknd (real name: Abel Tesfaye) will take the stage at the Forum on Sunday for the VMAs along with previously announced performers Miley Cyrus, Fifth Harmony, Ed Sheeran, and Katy Perry, among others.


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