Border Issues Delay NKOTB

Customs issues at the border held up a recent New Kids On The Block concert in Ottawa, Ontario, causing a postponement of the concert and some big headaches for promoter Live Nation.

The tour – featuring NKOTB along with 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men – was reportedly held up for six hours June 4 at the Thousand Islands Bridge that connects New York and Ontario, which put a wrench into preparations for that evening’s show at Scotiabank Place.

“The Package tour was unfortunately delayed at the Canadian border earlier today and as a result has impacted the time required for the show’s production and crew to prepare for tonight’s concert in Ottawa,” Live Nation said in a statement.
Though the concert was moved to the following evening at the arena, Live Nation lost tens of thousands of dollars on tickets, additional fees for setup, hotels, catering and police, according to the Ottawa Citizen.

In an interview with the paper, LN Canada Chair Riley O’Connor expressed confusion over the holdup, noting the company had followed protocol.

“All I know is we followed our procedures: 48 hours before anyone crosses the border they have the full documentation and it’s faxed to them old-style because that is what they want,” he said. “But I have no clue what happened, because we are not party to what goes on in the process by the customs and immigration people.”

But a spokesman for the Canadian Border Services Agency disagreed with O’Connor.

“The information the promoter has is not consistent with the CBSA’s version of events,” spokesman Chris Kealey told the Citizen, noting big tours are required to send documentation five to seven days in advance.