Justin Bieber was cool hand Luke when a seriously over-tactile fan stormed the stage in Dubai at the Sevens Stadium on Sunday night (May 5).
The teen star, who was performing at his second show in the Emirates city, was seated at the piano at the time as he sang his set closer anthem “Believe.”
From footage captured by a audience member, a young man wearing a white top and jeans jumped onstage and rushed towards Bieber, grabbing him from the front not behind.
Less than seconds later, security rushed the fan and rugby-tackled him to the ground. During the struggle, the grand piano was knocked over and upended.
Although concertgoers said afterwards that Bieber “ran away to the left of the stage,” in the video it looks as if he got up quickly from the piano and skipped to the side of the stage.
Fans can also be heard screaming in the video as the drama took place.
Throughout the ‘attack,’ the 19-year-old singer kept on singing. It also has to be said the piano also kept on playing despite lying upturned on the floor.
Meanwhile, security guards, who were still wrestling with the fan, bundled him off the stage then came back to remove the piano.
Bieber, to his credit, finished out the song. Reportedly, he took a three minute break then came back to the stage for an encore singing “Boyfriend” and “Baby.”
The Canadian later posted a message on Twitter, telling his fans:
“Dubai. Nothing stops the show. 2 more to go.”
His guitarist/musical director, Dan Kanter, also took to Twitter to reassure fans who were probably going nuts. Kanter wrote:
“It wasn’t a prank. Someone ran on stage during Believe and the piano got knocked off its platform. Everyone is fine. No need to worry!”
From the video, the fan clearly made at least minimal contact with Bieber, but this has been denied by Thomas Ovesen, chief operating officer at Done Events, the concert organizers.
Ovesen told Dubai media outlet, 7 Days: “Our only consolation is that Bieber was not touched.”
Downplaying the potential seriousness of the incident, he added: “You want him arrested? No, he’s a crazed fan who just wanted a hug. Everyone wants to be on stage with Justin Bieber.”
Of the damaged piano, Ovesen noted: “It happened in the process of getting him [the stage intruder] off stage.”
A more formal soundbite came later courtesy of The National, the Abu Dhabi government owned newspaper, who quoted the COO, saying:
“A young fan desperate to meet his idol did make his way on stage but was immediately removed and Justin professionally continued with his show. As far as we know no further action has been taken against the youth.”
Bieber had been booed before he got on stage at his second Dubai gig due to its two hour delay. He was also booed at the first show because of a 90 minute late start.
But, these seem almost quibbles now. The Believe tour, which has been plagued by a series of incidents, including — heck, it’s all here — now moves to South Africa where the first concert will take place on May 8.
The odyssey continues.