U2 cancel St Louis gig after peaceful protests turn violent

The band were forced to call the gig off amid safety fears.

U2 were forced to cancel their gig at The Dome in St Louis, Missouri last night (September 16) after a peaceful protest turned violent.

Protestors were demonstrating against the aquittal of Jason Stockley, a white former St Louis police officer who shot dead local black man, Anthony Lamar Smith in December 2011.

Stockley had fired five shots at Smith, following a high speed police chase after he believed he witnessed the man engaging in a drug deal.

Protests were peaceful after the verdict was announced on Friday, but police say they turned violent as night fell, causing the band to make the decision to cancel.

The band released a joint statement with Live Nation, saying:

“We have been informed by the St. Louis Police Department that they are not in a position to provide the standard protection for our audience as would be expected for an event of this size.

“We have also been informed that local crowd security personnel would not be at full capacity.

“In light of this information, we cannot in good conscience risk our fans’ safety by proceeding with tonight’s concert. As much as we regret having to cancel, we feel it is the only acceptable course of action in the current environment.”

Fans who purchased online tickets will receive automatic refunds, while physical tickets can be refunded at point of purchased from 10am UTC Monday.

The BBC report that on Friday night over 33 protesters were arrested, and 11 police officers injured in the protests.

Bono responded to the protests via the band’s Instagram, saying:

“Deeply saddened at what has happened in St. Louis and having to cancel our show tonight….I found myself reading Dr. King’s speech from the National Cathedral and asking myself is this 1968 or 2017? – Bono

He went on to share a quote from Luther King’s speech:
“Human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability….we are coming to ask America to be true to the huge promissory note that it signed years ago.

“And we are coming to engage in dramatic nonviolent action, to call attention to the gulf between promise and fulfillment; to make the invisible visible.”

The band recently released new single ‘You’re The Best Thing About Me’.

Reports say that their next album ‘Songs of Experience’ will be out in December.