The British rock band Oasis won’t be playing gigs in Beijing and Shanghai next month after all. They’ve been Bjorked, which is a way of saying one of their members didn’t pass ideological muster.
Bjork is the Icelandic singer who was banned from China after she sung the anthem “Declare Independence” at a concert in Shanghai March 2, 2008, finishing it with rousing shouts of “Tibet! Tibet!”
China toughened its rules for visiting musicians following that episode. Those who get the Bjork treatment can’t enter the country. That’s what’s happened to Oasis.
Here is their press release, which needs no further explanation:
"Oasis were informed Saturday (February 28) by their Chinese promoters, (Emma Entertainment/Ticketmaster China) that representatives from the Chinese government have revoked the performance licenses already issued for the band and ordered their shows in both Beijing and Shanghai to be immediately cancelled. The government have instructed the ticket agencies to stop selling tickets and to reimburse the thousands of fans who have already purchased tickets for these inaugural Oasis shows in the People's Republic of China.
"The licensing and immigration process for the two shows had been fully and successfully complied with well before the shows went on sale. The Chinese authorities action in cancelling these shows marks a reversal of their decision regarding the band, which has left both Oasis and the promoters bewildered.
"According to the show's promoters, officials within the Chinese Ministry of Culture only recently discovered that Noel Gallagher appeared at a Free Tibet Benefit Concert on Randall's Island in New York in 1997, and have now deemed that the band are consequently unsuitable to perform to their fans in the Chinese Republic on 3rd and 5th of April, during its 60th anniversary year.
"Oasis are extremely disappointed that they are now being prevented from undertaking their planned tour of mainland China and hope that the powers that be within China will reconsider their decision and allow the band to perform to their Chinese fans at some stage in the future.
"The rest of the South East Asian leg of the band's tour, including the Hong Kong show, will go ahead as planned."