No-Shows – 9 Artists Who Failed To Turn Up For Their Own Gigs

You know how it is. You buy a gig ticket months in advance and come the day, you’re stuck in the office or sat at home, bleary-eyed and sneezing on the couch, unable to leave the house. Hell, maybe you just forgot. It happens. But there’s a general rule that if you’re the one actually on the stage then you should probably turn up to the show. Here are nine artists who didn’t get the memo.

Death Grips

Death Grips:
In 2013, antagonistic rap troupe Death Grips didn’t bother going to their Lollapalooza set – where they were due to headline one of the festival’s stages. “They chose not to arrive in Chicago,” Lollapalooza spokeswoman Shelby Meade said (presumably through gritted teeth).

Guns N’Roses

Guns N’Roses:
Axl Rose has got form with no shows. In 2002, the frontman failed to turn up for the first date of the band’s North American tour in Vancouver, sparking a riot. In 1990, he also didn’t bother arriving at Montreal show – sparking another riot. In 2012, meanwhile, he couldn’t even be arsed to turn up to his own Hall Of Fame induction. What a guy.

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse:
In the latter part of her career, an ill and troubled Amy Winehouse missed a number of performances. Now, with recent documentary Amy revealing the extent of her problems, you can kind of understand why. But at the time, the cancellations still caused outrage and – in the case of French festival Rock En Seine – an attempted lawsuit.


Pete Doherty

Pete Doherty:
Pete’s recent no show at The Libertines’ Camden gig might have been for valid reasons (the singer suffered a panic attack pre-show), but Doherty’s absences haven’t always been so justified. The worst of his many offences occurred at London’s Astoria in 2004, when a full-scale riot broke out after the singer failed to turn up for a Babyshambles gig without giving any reason.

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber:
OK, so he did arrive eventually, but in 2013 J-Biebz was two hours late for a show at London’s O2 Arena, finally taking to the stage at 10.30pm. It’s not as bad a crime as some of our other perpetrators, but considering that a) Bieber’s fans can err on the young side and b) he’s got a crack team of employees catering to his every need, it was pretty poor form.


A case of cancellation-based cross-wired with this one. When Prince played a last-minute show at Manchester Academy in 2014, a second show was then added for later that night. Fans queued in the rain, paid £35 quid, but were greeted with a 15-minute encore from the first gig. Prince had had “a change of heart” and cancelled the second one.

MF Doom

MF Doom:
What’s under your hat, MF Doom? Turns out, a lot of the time it’s er… not actually MF Doom. Using his signature Metal Face attire to play the biggest stage prank of all, Doom has notoriously sent a variety of imposters on to perform in his place. Doom, meanwhile, isn’t even in the room.



On August 23, 2009, Oasis cancelled their second V Festival headline performances in Chelmsford on the day, citing a bout of viral laryngitis on Liam’s part as the reason. Little did people know on that day that the band would never perform together again. That’s one hefty throat infection.


Sure, no-one likes mud, but Wiley really doesn’t like mud. “Glastonbury ain’t paying me enough to leave my comfort zone,” he tweeted before his scheduled appearance at the festival in 2013. “En route to Heathrow realtalk”.