Rihanna has pulled out of the inaugural Lollapalooza Colombia festival because of concerns over the Zika Virus, Us Weekly reports. The festival had to be cancelled as a result, because organizers would not have had the time to find a suitable replacement to headline the festival.
— ELLE Magazine (US) (@ELLEmagazine) July 3, 2016
“The organizers wish to express their deep appreciation to all the fans who supported the festival since day one, as well as the sponsors and the media partners,” a statement on the official Lollapalooza Colombia website said on Friday, July 1. The statement was originally written in Spanish and translated for publication in the English-speaking media.
According to Vulture, patrons who bought their tickets will be refunded and none of the other Lollapalooza festivals will be negatively impacted.
— Slyde™ Music App (@slyde) July 3, 2016
The Lollapalooza concert was also set to feature performances from Lana Del Rey, Disclosure, Wiz Khalifa, The Chainsmokers, and many more. The festival began as a touring festival in the 1990s, and then took up permanent residency in Chicago in the mid-2000s. It has since then it has spread to other U.S. cities and countries like Brazil and Argentina. The concert in Colombia would have been the first time a Lollapalooza event had come to the country. According to Us Weekly, organizers say that the still want to host an event in the South American country in the future.
Although Time Magazine reports that Colombia has the most Zika cases in the world after Brazil, Colombians have taken to Twitter to insist that their capital city does not have any Zika cases.
If this is true, she’s stupid and so her staff Bogotá is up in the mountains we don’t have zika here….???? https://t.co/hTnCcsH1eU
— Natalia Prada (@gogonata) July 3, 2016
@rihanna I really hope that you had other most important reason for cancel ur presentation in colombia’s Lollapalooza. Bogotá is ZIKA FREE
— Just me (@NarePixie) July 1, 2016
— Alexis (@alexis_nola) July 3, 2016
Rihanna is by no means the first celebrity to abandon plans to go to South America because of Zika. Several athletes have pulled out of the Rio Olympics 2016 to avoid the Zika threat. According to People Magazine, Tejay van Garderen, a U.S. cyclist, was the first Olympic qualifier to do so.
“Although the risks associated with the Zika virus can be minimal and precautions can be taken, my wife Jessica is pregnant, and I don’t want to risk bringing anything back that could potentially have an effect,” he said at the time.
Since then, several others have followed suit, including seven top golfers, People Magazine reports. U.S. Women’s soccer goalie, Hope Solo, has said she’s not going to be venturing out of her hotel room outside of practice at the Rio Olympics.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Zika, which is spread by infected mosquitoes, causes Guillain-Barré syndrome, a devastating nerve disorder and microcephaly, a brain defect in unborn fetuses. Pregnant women have been warned against traveling to places known to have Zika in particular.
Rihanna is currently on the European leg of her Anti World Tour and has been seen out regularly with rapper Drake. She and Drake have a popular song together on Anti, called “Work.”
— People Magazine (@people) July 3, 2016
Many sources have said that Rihanna and Drake have recently rekindled their romance.
E! Online reports that the 29-year-old rapper and 28-year-old pop star were spotted at the Tape nightclub in London Friday night after the Rihanna concert. This was third time they were seen out together in a row. The two who are affectionately known as “Aubrih” by their fans had been at the same club earlier that week to celebrate Nicole Scherzinger’s birthday.
“He still loves her and never stopped,” an alleged source told E! News. “Rihanna is the one that’s been not wanting to settle down in the past. They are having fun spending time with each other. Their music together got them close again.”
Rihanna will next be performing in Stockholm, Sweden, at the Tele2 Arena.
[Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]