The April 10th show was “canceled by the promoter due to poor ticket sales,” the arena’s box office recording said.
The capacity for the concert was approximately 15,000 and 3,800 tickets were sold, box office manager Ellen Yehling told POLLSTAR. “It was the promoter’s decision to cancel,” she said.
Promoter Haymon Entertainment did not return phone calls.
Preparations for the arena’s first hip-hop concert were under way and it would have been the first time the venue used metal detectors, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper reported one day before the show was canceled.
After the backstage melee in Boston, 10 tour dates remained. Each show featured DMX, Juvenile, Lil’ Wayne, Drag-On, Eve, The Lox, Big Tymers, and B.G.
As reported last week, First Union Spectrum in Philadelphia and AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami also canceled performances.
Charlotte Coliseum in North Carolina and Philips Arena in Atlanta presented the multi-act shows.
“It went fine; we had no problems,” Philips Arena Director of Booking Trey Feazell told POLLSTAR. “Obviously, when they had the problem in Boston, we talked to different buildings and managers. … We felt it was an isolated incident.” While there were no pat downs at the sellout show, he said metal detectors were used and visual searches, such as inspecting handbags, were conducted.
The following venues told POLLSTAR they would proceed with the hip-hop show as planned: KeyArena in Seattle; ARCO Arena in Sacramento; Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre in Southern California; and Blockbuster Desert Sky Pavilion in Phoenix, where the tour’s last stop was scheduled for April 17th.
In Boston, police continued investigating the backstage fight. Two knives were reportedly smuggled into the facility and five men were hospitalized with stab wounds, including opening act Made Men’s Marco Antonio Ennis, the Boston Globe newspaper said.
Authorities were reportedly focusing on the rap group. However, potential witnesses were apparently uncooperative.
At a news conference two days after the conflict, Ennis denied being stabbed three times in the back, the Boston Herald said, and he discharged himself from the hospital the day after he was admitted.
“I got a small laceration on my arm, like you would get from a splinter. I went and got a Band-Aid. It was cool,” he told the paper.
“I haven’t even been approached by police,” group member Raymond Scott reportedly said.
“If no one is talking to the police, how can Made Men be the lead suspects?” the group’s attorney, Chauncy Wood, added.
After the incident, tour sponsor Ruff Ryder issued a statement saying, “The very premise of this tour is to foster a sense of unity within the hip-hop community. Incidents such as this one only serve to strengthen our resolve.”
Only one related arrest was made on a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon for striking another man with a bench. The alleged culprit pleaded innocent in court.