Entertainment behind the scenes
Canadian smokers drive Britney Spears from stage
Britney Spears walked off the stage early during her concert in Vancouver on Wednesday, leaving stunned fans to boo and chant for half an hour while her handlers dealt with what they later delicately described as “a ventilation issue.” Translation: some of her crew members were reportedly sickened by the cigarette – or perhaps another sort of – smoke.
According to the Vancouver Sun review, the pop princess sang a few songs after taking to the stage at GM Place a little after 8:17 p.m. local time. But soon the stage mysteriously went dark, inspiring a few outbursts from impatient fans. A voice eventually came over the loudspeaker: “It’s become uncomfortable and unsafe for the performers, including Ms. Spears,” according to the report. “The show will resume as soon as the air around the stage is clear.”
The fans were not impressed, chanting and howling. The mood was “sour,” the Sun report said.
Spears returned to the stage about 9:05 p.m., performing for another hour or so as if nothing had happened. And the crowd’s spirits also appeared to lift, the report said.
Spears’ camp later issued a statement, saying: “We want to apologize to all the fans who attended our Vancouver show tonight for the brief pause in Britney’s set. Crew members above the stage became ill due to a ventilation issue.”
Blogger Perez Hilton said Spears’ people were concerned that technicians high above the stage could become dizzy from fans’ marijuana, and he said Spears jokingly warned the crowd, “Don’t smoke weed!” as she left the stage at the end of the concert.
A spokesman for Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment, which owns the venue where the show took place told E! Online that early reports about dope smoking were unfounded and that the smoke was believed to be from cigarettes.
But, without being there, one wonders. Pot smoking has been taking place at concerts since the 1960s, and if it is true, one big mystery remains: Do Spears’ young fans roll their own, or get their parents to do it for them?