A Pepsi-sponsored, pre-Super Bowl concert featuring Harry Styles was supposed to be among the weekend’s many entertainment highlights in Miami. However, severe weather not only canceled the event, but left fans fuming.
A round of damaging thunderstorms hit the Meridian Island area shortly after the concert began, prompting all in attendance to flee and find safe ground. Lizzo, who was touted as a special guest alongside Mark Ronson, was already on stage performing when Mother Nature hit. Heavy rainfall flooded the area while the National Weather Service warned of intense wind gusts up to 70 mph and a chance of tornadoes.
Styles, who is prepping for his global Love On Tour, apologized for the circumstances on Twitter.
“To those of you here in Miami, I was told there’s a severe storm on the way. The fire department would not let us do the show under any circumstances. Please stay safe,” he shared. “I’m so disappointed, and I’m sorry. I love you all. H,” the message concluded.
To those of you here in Miami, I was told there’s a severe storm on the way.
The fire department would not let us do the show under any circumstances. Please stay safe.
I’m so disappointed, and I’m sorry.
I love you all. H
— Harry Styles. (@Harry_Styles) February 1, 2020
Fans were forced to evacuate the area in ankle-high floodwater and quickly compared the night to 2017’s infamous Fyre Festival. Twitter user @OhSoMajor_ called the circumstances a “nightmare,” while @lyssalabadi bashed organizers for the show’s “very unprofessional” handling. Many attendees also shared frustration over the process of getting transportation out of the concert, as the venue was specially built for the show and not fully accessible as a ride share pick-up area.
The Pepsi Harry Styles event sounds like the new Fyre Festival. What a nightmare.
— AJ (@OhSoMajor_) February 1, 2020
We paid hundreds of dollars and waited hours for this I’m not going out in the rain 🤷🏻♀️ this is ridiculous it rains all the time in Miami not cause for cancellation @MiamiPD @CityofMiamiFire very unprofessional
— Alyssa (@lyssalabadi) February 1, 2020
Pepsi responded later that night to apologize to fans and offer both concert and ride share refunds.
“As ordered by the Miami Fire Department, Planet Pepsi Zero Sugar had to unfortunately be canceled due to extreme weather. This was a mandatory evacuation in Miami across special event venues. We are focused on ensuring everyone is safely evacuated. We deeply apologize to the fans,” Pepsi shared on Twitter.
“For all attendees of tonight’s Planet Pepsi Zero Sugar Party, we understand this is disappointing, and want to do what we can to make this right. We are offering a full refund for tonight’s show and for your ride share from the venue. Details coming soon.”