While the music world’s attention was focused on South by Southwest’s cancellation due to concerns over coronavirus on Friday, eight dates on Justin Bieber’s 45-date stadium tour in support of his new album “Changes” were scaled down to arena appearances.
There was no official announcement from Bieber’s social media accounts, although eight arenas posted notices on Twitter telling fans that the show has been moved to their venue from a nearby stadium due to “unforeseen circumstances.” The changes have been reflected in the tour dates section of Bieber’s website.
A source close to the tour describes it as “a hard decision” based on softer markets in select cities where tickets went on sale just days before the coronavirus hit.
The ambitious tour was announced on Christmas Eve and follows Bieber’s first album in nearly five years and his first tour in nearly three. Slow ticket sales are unlikely to improve, it was concluded and reinforced at the end of a week that has seen two major music festivals cancelled due to concerns over coronavirus. And while perception as a result of weak sales was a concern, ultimately, the business decision was made to instead fill an arena in the same city and not take on the financial burden of a stadium.
Bieber’s latest album “Changes,” while opening at No. 1, has not had the commercial or critical success of his previous effort, 2015’s “Purpose,” though hits with Ed Sheeran (“I Don’t Care”) and Luis Fonsi (“Despacito feat. Daddy Yankee), as well as a 10-part documentary series, has maintained a near-constant presence for the singer — and a positive one at that.
The affected dates and their new venues are listed below:
June 5 Glendale, AZ Gila River Arena
June 27 Houston Toyota Center (formerly July 2)
June 28 Dallas American Airlines Center (formerly June 27)
July 11 Nashville Bridgestone Arena
Aug. 8 Columbus, OH Schottenstein Center
Aug. 14 Indianapolis Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse
Aug. 21 Washington, DC Capitol One Arena
Aug. 30 Detroit Little Caesars Arena (formerly Aug. 29)