Bon Jovi fans in Shanghai and Beijing who were scheduled to see the band on September 14 and 17 are disappointed today as the Chinese government has announced the cancellation of both shows.
AEG Live Asia made the cancellations official in a statement:
We regretfully announce that the Bon Jovi 2015 Shanghai concert on Sept. 14 and Beijing concert on Sept. 17 have been cancelled due to unforeseen reasons. We would like to apologize for the inconvenience and disappointment that this will cause.No official reason has been given as to the reason for the cancellation; however, the Washington Post (via Billboard) is theorizing that it is the band's 2009 video for We Weren't Born to Follow which included shots of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. A second theory is that the band performed in front of a picture of the Dalai Lama in a 2011 concert film which also may have rankled the Chinese Ministry of Culture.
Bon Jovi joins Maroon 5 whose mainland China appearances were also cancelled this summer due to an association with the Dalai Lama. Other artists, such as Bob Dylan and Oasis, have cancelled their own appearances due to criticism by the government of their political views.
Taking it all to a more absurd level, according to the Washington Post, Taylor Swift has been under scrutiny by the Ministry of Culture over her plan to sell souvenirs that read TS 1989, her initials and the title of her latest album. There was a fear it would perceived as meaning Tiananmen Square 1989.
Two dates in Macao on September 25 and 26 are still on the schedule. Even though Macao is overseen by the Chinese government in the area of defense and foreign affairs, it maintains its own services and legals system and does not fall under the Ministry of Culture.