NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Tyler, the Creator sure did create a lot of unhappy fans when he told them his Friday show at Chartway Arena in Norfolk was canceled.
Tyler, The Creator took to Twitter Thursday night to deliver the bad news.
Part of his spring 2022 tour for his album “Call Me If You Get Lost,” Tyler, The Creator was expected to be accompanied by fellow artists Kali Uchis, Vince Staples, and Teezo Touchdown.
On Thursday, he said both the Norfolk and Pittsburgh shows on March 4 and 12, respectively, would not happen as planned. The artist said refunds for both shows will be issued at the point of purchase.
Norfolk’s show will be canceled due to “local staffing shortages.” Pittsburgh’s is canceled before the event venue there is unable to accommodate the production of the show as it was designed.
“It’s been seven or eight months since he announced it, and then he canceled it less than 24 hours before the concert, so it’s definitely a little frustrating,” said Connor Harris, who was planning to come into Norfolk from James Madison University for Friday’s concert.
“I was pretty frustrated,” said Will Latham, who was also planning to attend the show. “I was really excited, I have never seen him in person. I’m just a little disappointed.”
In a social media post on Thursday, Tyler, the Creator, blamed the cancellation on “staffing shortages.” But who exactly pulled the plug, and the reason why, are still up for debate. A person helping to set up the merchandise at Chartway Arena on Thursday night told us they were all set up and ready to go – but that the artist’s stage was too big to get set up in time – which he was warned about beforehand.
“I’ve looked at videos of his tour, apparently it is pretty elaborate,” said Harris.
“So it is a little disappointing if they couldn’t accommodate the production. But once again, that’s something they should have worked out when they booked the venue.”
Our calls to Chartway Arena for an official explanation went unanswered on Friday afternoon.
Regardless of the reason for the cancellation, Old Dominion University Economics Professor Bob McNab says the area will feel a hit.
“You have to refund all those ticket sales, all those bars and restaurants will no longer have people coming in to spend money, and even Uber drivers and taxi drivers are going to find themselves with a little bit less business,” he said.
Whether or not it was a true staffing shortage that caused the problem, it’s indicative of a larger issue in Hampton Roads, McNab said.
“The unemployment rate in Hampton Roads is 4%, and should dip below 4% in the coming months. So we just don’t have a lot of available workers out there that can fill positions,” he said.