Bon Jovi was scheduled to perform in China for the very first time next week, with one show scheduled in Shanghai and another in Beijing, with tickets ranging from Rmb480 to Rmb3,880 ($75 to $600), but the excitement came to a screeching halt when the ticketing website Damai.cn posted on its official Weibo account that it had stopped selling tickets for the shows.
The problem? China has a sore spot when it comes to the Dalai Lama, and Bon Jovi hit it.
It's being reported by The Guardian and The Financial Times that the reason for the cancelations is due to the band's use of an image of the Dalai Lama as a backdrop during a show in Taiwan in 2010. Chinese officials associate the image of the Dalai Lama with being anti-China, so that's a no-no on a major level.
Bon Jovi are now one of a growing list of musicians who have gotten the cold shoulder from China due to something having to do with the Dalai Lama. Maroon 5 had their Shanghai concerts canceled in July supposedly due to a happy birthday tweet from one of the band members to the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader. Oasis were sent packing in 2009 because of a Free Tibet concert that Noel Gallagher performed at in New York. Björk has been banned from China for life after chanting “Tibet, Tibet” during her song “Declare Independence” in a concert in Shanghai in 2008.
No word has been given from the promoters for the canceled shows as to whether tickets will be refunded, but it's assumed that they will be.
Bon Jovi's latest album, ironically titled Burning Bridges, came out on August 21st.
Photos by Andrew Chin/Getty Images