Ed Sheeran concert chaos: Phoenix native speaks out after safety issues prompt cancellation

For some music fans in Las Vegas, Sept. 9, 2023 was a day marked by chaos, as attendees of what was supposed to the Vegas stop of U.K. singer Ed Sheeran's +-=÷x Tour (pronounced "The Mathematics Tour, according to Allegiant Stadium's website)

The concert, according to a statement posted to Sheeran's Instagram, was canceled due to safety concerns, as a flooring problem caused two tall towers to slip from its original location.

"Engineers tore the rig apart and reinforced the rebuild, but both towers were still found to be shifting," read a portion of the statement.

The shifting towers, according to the statement, led to the show's late cancelation on Saturday.

"I really am gutted," Sheeran wrote in a post accompanying the statement, which was presented in a photo. "This was very much out of my control but I do take full responsibility for everyone that was put out from the cancellation."

The singer also announced a rescheduled show for Oct. 28, and that refunds are available for those who cannot make it to the rescheduled show.

Concert attendees fell victim to heat

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Concert-goers wait for ride shares near Allegiant Stadium after Ed Sheeran canceled his concert on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, in Las Vegas. (Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

High temperatures in Las Vegas, according to data from the National Weather Service office in the area, reached 103°F on Sept. 9. Some attendees fell ill while waiting in the heat.

Among those who waited was Cassie Barnett

"It was actually a bucket list trip. It was number one on my list. I had been trying to see him for 12 years," said Cassie Barnett.

It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime for Barnett and her 13-year-old daughter, Lily, and during the wait, things started to take a turn.

"My daughter tells me that, you know, she's starting to not feel good. I tell her that she needs to go sit in the shade, drink some more water. I had brought two frozen water bottles with us to prepare for this event. I bought cooling sunscreen she was using to cool herself down. I even brought this little fan to fan us off, so I came prepared," said Barnett.

Barnett, a Phoenix native, said the triple digit heat quickly set in.

"It went from being uncomfortable in the heat to a minute later shes throwing up on the ground we couldn’t walk the 20 minutes back to the car to go home at that point we were stuck there and the only option we had was continue to stay there because we knew there was air conditioning nearby medical assistance nearby."

Barnett says an hour went by, past the time they were supposed to be allowed into the stadium, and more people started falling ill and passing out all around her.

"The only thing that held me together at that point was Ed Sheeran's fans, and they really came through for us," said Barnett. "There was a girl who used a post-it that she had made for him. and was fanning my daughter off for 20 straight minutes. Fans were giving each other the last bit of water they had to anyone that wasn’t feeling well."

Eventually, Barnett said the crowd grew restless, and pushed their way into the lobby.  

"At that point, I think employees started realizing how serious the situation was," said Barnett.

Once inside, Barnett said her daughter was treated by paramedics. It was then she discovered the cancelation and rescheduling.

Despite all they went through, Barnett said she will be back.

"She goes ‘I didn’t go through this for nothing. I’m coming back. I’m going to see him. I’m going to make this worth it,’" said Barnett.