Nicki Minaj fans upset as gig is canceled after arrest

Piece by: BBC

• Videos on social media and flight data indicated that Minaj’s plane was still in Amsterdam when the Manchester show was postponed.

Nicki Minaj
Image: Instagram

Nicki Minaj fans were left furious after the American rapper's concert at Manchester's Co-op Live arena was abruptly canceled, following her arrest at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.

Minaj was detained on suspicion of exporting soft drugs, fined, and then permitted to continue her journey, according to Dutch police.

However, she didn’t arrive in Manchester in time for her Saturday show, which was postponed as about 20,000 fans waited in the arena.

Among the disappointed fans was Imogen Pope, 18, from Newton-le-Willows in Merseyside, who said she was "pretty livid."

"I spent £150 for my ticket and booked a day off work for it, and we sat there for about three hours waiting and we got told it’s not happening," she said. "I’m gutted."

Ellis Day, 17, from Cheshire, expressed his frustration, saying he was "absolutely devastated."

"We’ve come here, we spent all day getting ready, to see this happen. It’s just really disappointing when we’ve got our hopes up and spent the money, and we get told at the very last minute that she’s not going to show up."

Fans were allowed into the arena at 19:00 BST and remained hopeful until the postponement announcement just after 21:30 BST—around the time she was supposed to perform.

Boos were heard in the Manchester arena before everyone filed out.

Videos on social media and flight data indicated that Minaj’s plane was still in Amsterdam when the Manchester show was postponed.

"I'm disappointed because I saw this afternoon that Nicki Minaj got arrested in Amsterdam,” said Kian Young, 23, who had traveled from Scunthorpe in Lincolnshire.

While acknowledging that the arrest was beyond the arena's control, Young questioned the lack of timely communication.

"I'm confused as to why the Co-op arena hasn’t spoken to its fans. Why didn’t they cancel it at 17:00? Everyone's come - my missus is crying. Why not tell us it's canceled before bringing us in?"

This is the latest issue for the new £450m arena, which has recently postponed or moved concerts by artists like Olivia Rodrigo, Take That, and Peter Kay due to delays and technical problems.

Olivia Gibson, 21, from Newcastle, declared herself an “ex-fan,” criticizing Minaj's history of tardiness and poor planning.

"I feel appalled. But also, in a way, I'm not shocked," she said. "And it's not the Co-op Live’s fault. She’s just let all her fans down."

Anna, another ticket-holder, had traveled from Poland with her boyfriend, spending about £1,000 on the trip.

"I’m very angry because my boyfriend gave me a ticket for the concert for Valentine’s Day," she said. "We flew from Poland for this concert. She knows it is sold out here. It’s a lot of money."

Despite the frustration, some die-hard fans defended Minaj.

Shaz Shah, 23, from Manchester, said: "What’s happened tonight is definitely not the artist’s fault – it’s an issue that’s happened in another country and it shouldn’t be taken out on her.

Co-op Live should have been a bit more transparent and told us a bit sooner. People have booked days off work, they’ve bought tickets, just for it to be canceled. The matter should have been escalated sooner."

On social media, Minaj said she was detained for five to six hours and arrived in Manchester around midnight.

"They succeeded at their plan to not let me get on that stage tonight," she wrote on X, without specifying who she meant. "Please please please accept my deepest & most sincere apologies. They sure did know exactly how to hurt me today but this too, shall pass.

They’ve been doing this over & over & over & over & over again & I’ve tried so hard to not discuss it b/c [because] you guys deserve to just get the good stuff. I hate involving you in anything that isn’t for entertainment purposes only."

She promised an "added bonus" for ticket holders at the rescheduled date, which she hoped to announce on Sunday.

Earlier, Minaj had posted part of her arrest on social media, showing a police officer apparently telling her: "You are under arrest," She was heard responding that she was not carrying drugs.

In other posts, she complained about her treatment, saying: "They took my luggage without consent," and "This is Amsterdam btw [by the way], where weed is legal."

In a statement, promoters Live Nation said: "Nicki Minaj’s scheduled performance at Manchester’s Co-op Live on Saturday 25 May has been postponed. Tickets will remain valid for the rescheduled performance which will be announced as soon as possible. Despite Nicki’s best efforts to explore every possible avenue to make tonight’s show happen, the events of today have made it impossible. We are deeply disappointed by the inconvenience this has caused."

Co-op Live echoed the same statement. Minaj is scheduled to continue her tour in Birmingham on Sunday, followed by performances in London and Glasgow, before returning to Manchester on Thursday.

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