U2, Ed Sheeran Cancel St. Louis Shows Amid Protests U2, Ed Sheeran Cancel St. Louis Shows Amid Protests
Concerts by U2 and Ed Sheeran scheduled for this weekend in St. Louis were among many events canceled amid demonstrations following the acquittal Friday... U2, Ed Sheeran Cancel St. Louis Shows Amid Protests

Concerts by U2 and Ed Sheeran scheduled for this weekend in St. Louis were among many events canceled amid demonstrations following the acquittal Friday of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stokely. Stokely had been charged with first-degree murder in relation to the shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011.

Protests have seen over 30 arrests in the two nights since the verdict, with largely peaceful marches giving way to occasional violence as anger over the verdict boiled over. In the atmosphere of unrest, the ability of law enforcement to provide security at the concerts was cited by management for both artists as the primary reasoning for the decision to cancel.

U2 was scheduled to play a show on its Joshua Tree tour at the Dome at America’s Center on Saturday evening, while Sheeran was scheduled for a Sunday show at Scottrade Center.

In a post on U2’s Instagram page, Bono expressed his dismay at the events that led to the cancellation of the concert:

“Deeply saddened at what has happened in St. Louis and having to cancel our show tonight….I found myself reading Dr. King’s speech from the National Cathedral and asking myself is this 1968 or 2017? – Bono

“Human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability….we are coming to ask America to be true to the huge promissory note that it signed years ago. And we are coming to engage in dramatic nonviolent action, to call attention to the gulf between promise and fulfillment; to make the invisible visible.”

Messina Touring Group, which is operating Sheeran’s tour, issued a statement following the announcement of his show being cancelled:

“With the safety of the fans being of upmost concern, and after consulting with local officials, who could not fully commit to providing a sufficient amount of police and other city services support, we felt it was in everyone’s best interest to cancel Sunday night’s show. While we regret to have had to come to this decision, we do look forward to returning to St. Louis as soon as Ed’s schedule will allow in 2018.”

Those who purchased tickets will receive refunds.