An overzealous Justin Bieber fan who stormed the stage in Dubai at the Sevens Stadium show on Sunday will not be arrested, say concert organizers.
According to Dubai media outlet, 7 Days, Thomas Ovesen, the chief operating officer of Done Events — the organizers behind the teen singer’s two concerts — said the male stage invader was simply “a crazed fan who wanted a hug.”
Ovesen also insists that Bieber was not touched by the stage interloper, despite reports to the contrary.
“Our only consolation is that Bieber was not touched,” said Ovesen.
The dramatic incident occurred during the Canadian’s closer song “Believe.”
While the 19-year-old was performing at the piano, a young male fan wearing a white shirt and jeans rushed the stage and — from the footage — looked as if he definitely made contact with Bieber.
Within seconds stage security rugby-tackled the intruder who knocked over an onstage piano in the struggle. As a result, it was rendered unplayable.
According to concertgoers, many of whom screamed as the incident unfolded, Bieber “ran away to the left of the stage.”
As he did so, security guards continued wrestling with the intruder.
Ovesen dismissed the collateral piano damage, saying: “It happened in the process of getting him [the intruder] off stage.”
When asked why the stage invader would not be arrested, he explained:
“You want him arrested? No, he’s a crazed fan who just wanted a hug. Everyone wants to be on stage with Justin Bieber.”
Although security at the Sevens Stadium comes under Done Events’ remit, the removal of the young man was accomplished by Done Events staff and Bieber’s security team.
7DAYS reports that when asked whether security at the stadium had been tight enough, Ovesen replied: “We will look at that. There are lots of people who are not working in that area. People want to be a part of what’s going on.”
Despite the potentially more serious scenario involved, Bieber finished out the performance of “Believe.” He then reportedly took a three minute break before returning to the stage for an encore of “Boyfriend” and “Baby.”
The singer had been booed before the start of the show due to a two hour delay.
The scheduled stage time was 8 pm but the show kicked off at 10 pm. Sunday’s delay comes after his Saturday concert ran late by 90 minutes, triggering anger from parents as Sunday is a school night in Dubai.
It’s also an unwelcome echo of Bieber’s controversially late show on March 4 at London’s 02 Arena. Widely reported to be a two hour delay, the singer disputes that and says it was closer to 49 minutes.
The Believe tour has been plagued by a series of incidents including the star’s run-in with a paparazzo, a fainting spell, the quarantining of his pet monkey by Munich customs officials, an international backlash over a guestbook entry he wrote at Amsterdam’s Anne Frank House museum, a tour bus drug search by Swedish police and much social media venting by Bieber over his anger at the press coverage he has received.
The tour, or odyssey as it should be called, now moves to South Africa where Bieber is set to perform in Cape Town on May 8 and Johannesburg on May 12.