Fans of pop superstar The Weeknd in Toronto were left high and dry after the singer's much-awaited homecoming show was cancelled hours before it was set to begin on Friday.
The event at the multipurpose Rogers Centre was meant to kick off The Weeknd's delayed global stadium tour, After Hours Til Dawn.
But thousands of fans who arrived at the stadium on Friday were told the concert was a no-go, owing to a service disruption of telecom company Rogers, one of Canada's biggest phone networks, which caused problems for venue operations.
Canada's CTV News reported that stadium staff spread the news by walking through the disappointed crowd with megaphones while a pre-recorded message looped every few minutes on speakers outside the venue.
Photos on social media showed crowds walking outside the stadium in downtown Toronto.
"We regret to announce that The Weeknd tour stop at Rogers Centre has been postponed due to service outages impacting venue operations. A new show date will be shared ASAP and tickets will be honoured. We understand how disappointing this is and apologise for the inconvenience," the Twitter account of baseball team Toronto Blue Jays, which calls Rogers Centre home, posted on Friday evening.
Organiser Live Nation said The Weeknd was already at the venue and "ready to play" before it was concluded that the show could not be held. "The venue’s operations and infrastructure are not possible until full service is back," they posted.
Hours later, The Weeknd himself announced the postponement, saying he was "crushed and heartbroken".
"Been at the venue all day but it's out of my hands because of the Rogers outage," the singer, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, posted on his Instagram Stories. "Operations and safety are compromised and I tried my absolute best.
"This one hurts the most, and we will make this show happen, but unfortunately not tonight. I know how long you've been waiting, and how hard you've worked to make it to the show and experience this special moment with me. I can't wait to see you all.
While it is still not known what caused the outage, Rogers chief executive Tony Staffieri posted an apology on Friday on the company's website.
"I take full responsibility for ensuring we at Rogers earn back your full trust, and are once again there to connect you to what matters," he said.
The Weeknd's next show is set for July 14 at the Lincoln Financial Field Stadium in Philadelphia, US. A new date for the Toronto show is yet to be announced.