Saturday, 21.15. Set on the edge of the Garonne, the Arkéa Arena, one of the largest concert halls of France with its shape in pebble-designed by Rudi Ricciotti, gleamed in the night. Tonight, the rapper american Nicki Minaj is the poster. The same afternoon, she was able to see the yellow vests show up at the foot of the Intercontinental hotel where she was staying with his entourage. Arrival in early evening at the Arena in a black limousine, she is in her dressing room, make-up, ready to sing and dance. The public, 5500 people on a gauge 11,000 (it was necessary to hide the seats unsold by large black curtains) doesn’t suspect anything. But between the entourage of Nicki Minaj, and the leaders of the Arkéa Arena, nothing more. To be dismissive and unpleasant, the Americans refuse to open the door of the lodge of the star and does not speak more the word to the French. Nicki Minaj is already supposed to be on stage. Tonight, even his first part was not played.

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Shouts, whistles, boos…

The ground-floor, the public enters and exits the room fully lit to order beers. “We do not understand what is happening, we explained our neighbor at the bar. However, it is indicated on the ticket that you had to be there at the latest at 19: 30. It is now almost two hours that we have patience, for children especially it is long.” In the room, the people involved in clapping and two little girls who are the show by improvising a choreography. On the stroke of 22 hours, the atmosphere suddenly becomes uncomfortable. Shouts, whistles, boos… The audience was more than enough. We can understand them: from two hours and 35 minutes, there they are sitting in front of a curtain closed to listen to the background music.

To 22h07, the curtain raises in the middle and a young man bursts upon the scene. At the microphone, “good Evening, Bordeaux, (hooting, editor’s note). A second. Please, please we have huge technical issues tonight, which means that the artist is not able to take on his concert.” The empty bottles fly on the stage. It is the kill. The fans are literally furious. Absolutely furious. There was always something.

“Why an artist would want to cancel a gig and lose the money ? Why ? When one is already in the room, dressed, etc…”

Nicki Minaj

This concert is the eleventh of the european tour launched in Munich on 21 February, the rapper american. In almost every city, there were worries. Never seen before in the show-biz. The Ondrej Nepela Ice-Hockey Stadium in Bratislava (Slovakia), on the 22nd of February last, the show had already been canceled after four (!) hours of waiting for the fans. Beyoncé, Depeche Mode or Kylie Minogue had to play without worries. Past midnight, Nicki Minaj was onstage to apologize for fifteen minutes.

In Bordeaux, she has not had this courtesy. For his fans who were moved often from a distance and had paid places up to 106 euros, it would have been the slightest of things. She was of course furious, but his audience was in no way responsible for this conflict with the room. Instead, it is merely a tweet unpleasant where, on the defensive, it doesn’t excuse always: “Why an artist would want to cancel a gig and lose the money? Why? When one is already in the room, dressed etc… The artist is just as pissed as the fans that the show could take place. (…)”

“there was one chance in a thousand for there to be a short-circuit, and in this case, people die. I refuse absolutely to take this type of risk.”

Jerome Langlet

According to our survey, Bratislava and Bordeaux, it happened exactly the same thing. On this show, the design of the lights on some pieces demand a hundred times more power than allowed by european laws: 3 amps instead of 30 milli-amperes. The entourage american has understood this and rather than address the concern, trying to force through in each room. In Bordeaux, the problem has been reported as early as the end of a Saturday morning by the French technicians of the Arkea Arena. Immediately informed, Jérôme Langlet, the director of Lagardère Entertainment, which has the responsibility for the operation of the room, asked the Americans to put themselves in compliance with the French legislation. A solution was to remove the special effects that were a problem on some songs. Refusal of the Americans. Jérôme Langlet, who experienced the horror at the Bataclan in which Lagard * re was a co-owner at the time of the attacks, does not give in: “there was one chance in a thousand for there to be a short-circuit, and in this case, people die. I refuse absolutely to take this type of risk. It is necessary to respect our laws.”

In the late morning, it was still possible to prevent the 5500 spectators. On the square, the more fans of Nicki Minaj are already there, behind the barriers with their sandwiches and their bottles of water. The direction of the room request to the entourage of Nicki Minaj prevent the public. Legally, only the production of the artist can announce the cancellation of the show. They refuse in the hope of finding a solution and moving from strength to strength. A 19h30, no solution has been found and the doors will open to the public with a good hour late. At the end of the evening, when the 5500 spectators will come home with harsh words for Nicki Minaj, the French producer who has bought the show, Nicki Minaj released a statement to present his regrets.

The following day, the management of Arkea Arena does the same.

The spectators will be refunded as soon as Monday in their usual outlets. The financial loss of this Saturday evening for the production promises to be very heavy: in addition to the 5500 notes to be redeemed, it will be necessary to pay for its fixed costs of production and logistics.

Nicki Minaj has a serious concern image. If she wants her career lasts, fill rooms in increasingly large and enter the great court (Beyoncé, Rihanna, Lady Gaga…), it will be necessary to make some adjustments. The Accor Hotels Arena, last Thursday in Paris, she is permitted to arrive on scene at 22 hours. Do the same wait for the spectators arrived as requested at 19h30, this is not possible. As in Bordeaux, Paris has hooted and whistled. There also, she never apologized.

It is also necessary to make the shows at the height of its clips and its artistic collaborations with the biggest rappers and a DJ. On this tour, the set is not up to par. She sang for thirty minutes, disappears for thirty minutes and returned for thirty minutes. That is particular. It doesn’t help that the sets and costumes are not at the height of what can be done in 2019. Brilliant, smart, funny with a sense of the spread certain which is a big hit in the late nights shows us, Nicki Minaj would have an interest in quickly changing surroundings. Tuesday 11, it is expected in London.

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