Juanes’ Problem Date

Who would have thought an event that took place 50 years ago would force an international Latin singer to change the date for one of his concerts?

Colombian artist Juanes was scheduled to play the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami April 15. Tickets went on sale and everything was running smoothly. That is, until someone took a second look at the calendar.

You see, April 15 is also the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the ill-fated Bay Of Pigs invasion when the U.S. tried to overthrow Cuba.

Photo: AP Photo
Celebration for the Bicentenary of the Independence of Colombia, Quibdo, Colombia.

Organized by the CIA, the invasion consisted of Cuban exiles attempting to remove Fidel Castro from power. However, the operation didn’t go exactly as planned and resulted in at least 100 men killed and hundreds captured.

But that was then. Fifty years later the invasion is causing problems of a different sort, resulting in people questioning whether it was appropriate to schedule Juanes to play Miami the same week Cuban exiles were planning events commemorating the failed invasion’s anniversary.

Adding to the controversy was Juanes’ Sept. 2009 show at Havana’s Revolution Plaza. The free show, billed as “Peace Without Borders” was criticized by the Cuban exile community in Miami as promoting Castro and his regime. So seeing the singer booked to play Miami during the week of the anniversary ruffled more than a few feathers.

Apparently negative response to the date began soon after the show was announced when members of Juanes’ team as well as a few of the show’s sponsors began receiving “anonymous, negative comments” about the event, according to The Miami Herald.

Photo: AP Photo
"Peace Without Borders" concert, Havana, Cuba

On Jan. 31, the Associated Press, citing an unnamed source close to Juanes, reported the show would be moved to a different date.

On Feb. 1, The Miami Herald reported the date was being postponed, citing the show’s promoter, NYK Productions owner Arie Kaduri, as saying the concert’s original date was canceled out of Juanes’ “respect for the Cuban exile community.”

But there was just one small problem. Even though news that the date might change had circulated for more than 24 hours and was even printed in Miami’s major newspaper, the show was still listed as happening on April 15 per the venue’s website and tickets were still available via Ticketmaster.

In fact, Pollstar called the AmericanAirlines Arena this morning, only to be told the show was still on for April 15.

However, after contacting representatives of the artist, Pollstar was told the date would change and that an announcement is forthcoming, possible as early as this afternoon.

Photo: AP Photo
The Colombian singer performing at the World Cup opening concert.

Click here for the complete Miami Herald article.