In Depth

Justin Bieber O2 fiasco: parents ask for refunds

Fans and parents express anger after teen star keeps concert-goers waiting two hours

EDITOR'S NOTE: Since this story was published Justin Bieber has aplogised to his fans. "i was 40 min late to stage. there is no excuse for that and I apologise for anyone we upset," he tweeted.

JUSTIN BIEBER was booed by "thousands" of angry parents and fans last night when his sold-out concert at London's O2 arena started two hours later than scheduled.

The 19-year-old Canadian star took a "never apologise, never explain" attitude to the late start, says the Daily Telegraph's Bernadette McNulty. But the delay caused frustration inside the venue and chaos outside, as parents arrived to pick up their children at 10.30pm, not realising Bieber had only started his performance at 10.22pm.

Some young 'Beliebers' were taken home in tears after hearing just a few songs, because their parents were worried about "missing the last trains home on a school night", reports Sky. The singer's representatives gave no explanation for the late start, leaving it to the venue to tweet: "Justin Bieber is now on stage and apologises for the lateness of his show."

Fans and parents took to social media to express their frustration. "Daughter and Nieces at O2 to see Justin Bieber – Still not on stage at 10.20 on a school night – That's just taking the piss!" tweeted one unhappy father.

When Bieber eventually appeared before the sold-out audience, he delivered a "slick, well-oiled arena show that borrowed much from the Leni Riefenstahl school of visual bombardment," writes McNulty. But the teen hearthrob's awkward dancing gave him the air of a "homeboy-styled Pinocchio" and much of the show comprises songs that "no-one beyond his fans would recognise".

The London Evening Standard's John Aizlewood says many of the fans who arrived at the venue when doors opened at 6.30pm, had "the joy sucked out of their young souls" by the long delay. When Bieber finally emerged, dressed as a white-suited, white-winged angel, hovering over the audience "there would be no explanation of whatever diva tantrum had caused him to treat his audience with such contempt, nor would there be an apology".

By the end of the concert, the O2 was barely half-full, says Aizlewood. "When Bieber asked 'Who's seen me play before?', he might have been better wondering who would spend time, money and adoration on seeing him again".

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