The opening date of the Weeknd’s “After Hours Til Dawn” stadium tour has been postponed due to a nationwide outage of the Rogers Wireless company, one of Canada’s biggest phone networks, which wreaked havoc on the country for all of Friday.
The fact that the tour was to open at the Rogers Center (formerly the Skydome), the largest venue in the Weeknd’s hometown of Toronto, was a painfully ironic twist. It is a cashless venue and all ticketing, food, beverage and merch sales are tied to the wireless network.
A statement from tour promoter Live Nation reads: “The Weeknd was onsite and ready to play but due to the nationwide Rogers network outage the show planned for this evening at Rogers Center will be postponed as the venue’s operations & infrastructure are not possible until full service is back. Please hold on to your ticket. Updates on a new date coming soon.”
We regret to announce that The Weeknd tour stop at Rogers Center has been postponed due to service outages impacting venue operations. A new show date will be shared ASAP and tickets will be honored.
We understand how disappointing this is and apologize for the inconvenience. pic.twitter.com/Et073wz0WZ
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 8, 2022
The outage, which began at around 4:30 am ET, illuminated just how much modern society has come to rely on cellular coverage: Throughout the country, government and banking systems, parking and countless other businesses were unable to process transactions. Restaurants were forced to serve on a cash-only basis. Cafes and any business offering free wifi were packed.
On Friday afternoon, the company did not have an estimate for when the outage would be fixed, according to Kye Prigg, Rogers’ senior vice-president of access networks and operations, on CBC’s “Power & Politics.”
“I wouldn’t like to say whether it’s going to be fully online today or not, but we are working very, very hard on making sure that we get everything running as soon as possible,” he said. “We’re getting very close to understanding the root cause of the failure. And we’re taking actions along with our network vendors to recover the situation.
“We don’t understand how the different levels of redundancy that we build across the network coast to coast have not worked,” he added.
Variety will have more on the situation as it develops.