Bieber Fever Hits Downunder

Justin Bieber’s only live performance in Australia April 26 was shut down when an unexpected crowd of mostly 7,000 teen females led to 10 being hospitalized in a crush.

Fans had journeyed from all parts of the country. Bieber was to perform three numbers outside Overseas Passenger Terminal at Sydney’s Circular Quay for a segment on free-to-air Seven Network’s “Sunrise” program.

Photo: AP Photo / The Canadian Press
Juno Awards, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

Police were critical of the crowd, which refused repeated calls to move back to allow security to get to the fans who had fainted. They also criticized parents who allowed their children to assemble unattended through the night. “Sunrise” co-host David Koch said on air that the network had employed the same security team that handled festivals as Big Day Out.

“If your daughter may have been injured or died down there, we are not going to cop that responsibility,” Koch said on air.

When police axed the 7.40 a.m. appearance, the crowd refused to disperse. Instead, it moved nearby to Seven’s studios in the smaller area of Martin Place where the “Sunrise” interview took place. Riot police were called, and Bieber was allowed to perform one number behind glass before the crowd was dispersed.

Bieber tweeted to fans, “I want to make this clear…I don’t cancel. I woke up this morning to the police canceling the show for safety reasons.”

During the visit, Bieber found a new celeb buddy. He and Slash arrived from Tokyo on the same flight — the former Guns N’ Roses guitarist was in the country to launch a new MTV channel in Melbourne on April 28 — and had dinner.