The inaugural concert of South America’s Lollapalooza Colombia has been canceled after its star attraction, reported to be pop star Rihanna, pulled out.
Concert organizers said in a memo on the festival’s website that, “Due to the main artist’s cancellation one hour before the full lineup bill was announced, and facing great difficulties in finding a suitable replacement, festival organizers have been forced to cancel the inaugural Lollapalooza Colombia,” according to a Newsday translation of the Spanish-language message. “The festival was scheduled for the 17th and 18th of September in Bogotá’s Simón Bolívar Park. All ticketholders will be fully refunded, including service fee charges,” adding that reimbursement details could be found on the website.
The Santiago, Chile, newspaper La Tercera, citing the Colombian radio network Radio Cadena Nacional, said “Work” and “Sledgehammer” singer Rihanna, 28, was the act that had canceled. RCN, citing anonymous sources, reported the singer had canceled her appearance at the eleventh hour because of fears about contracting the Zika virus.
Rihanna has not commented on social media and her representatives have issued no statement.
“The Colombia organizers want to express their deepest thanks to all the fans who supported the festival since day one, as well as the sponsors and the media,” the festival message continued. “We hope to return and to bring the first version of this festival in the country.”
Colombia has South America’s second-highest incidence of the Zika virus, which is spread primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito and commonly causes fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For most adults, the illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week, and rarely requiring hospitalization. However, contracting the Zika virus while pregnant can lead to microcephaly and other severe fetal defects.