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Sam Smith fans were left terrified during a blackout at the Manchester Arena on Wednesday, six years following the tragic Ariana Grande concert bombing at the same venue.
Four songs into the setlist, Smith, 31, ran into vocal troubles and exited the stage, leaving the venue in darkness for 20 minutes.
Concertgoers weren’t informed why Smith abruptly left the stage, and were simply asked to leave the arena.
“@samsmith @AOArena just not ok I had my 13 year old sat with me in the dark for 20 min before another 20 in the light on nearly to the day of the awful things that happened and you had us sat in the dark genuinely hope Sam is ok but damn handled awfully,” one attendee wrote on social media.
Several others referenced the tragedy that took place at the same arena in Manchester, England, on May 22, 2017, when a suicide bomber claimed the lives of 22 people who came out to see Grande, 29, perform.
“Apparently lights down, no immediate explanation. How scary for fans in the AO Arena Manchester, just days after the 6th anniversary of losing 22 people. #SamSmith #Insensitive,” one person wrote.
Another chimed in, “It was so insensitive the way the audience found out. Especially with it being 6 years since the arena attacks! Keep them informed.”
Page Six has reached out to Manchester Arena for comment.
After the concert, the “Unholy” singer – who uses they/them pronouns – took to social media to apologize to fans, citing a virus that affected their vocals.
“I don’t know what to say honestly. I fought off a virus a few weeks ago and since then we have travelled across Europe and had such incredible shows,” Smith wrote via their Instagram Story.
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“Today in soundcheck I felt fine and was so excited to give Manchester an amazing show tonight, with a special surprise guest at the end,” they added.
“During my third song, I noticed something wrong with my voice. I prayed it was just my voice waking up for the show but into the fourth song I could feel something was really wrong.”
Smith continued on, telling fans they came off stage and “tried everything” to get their voice back in gear, unsuccessfully.
“I am honestly heartbroken I couldn’t finish the show tonight for you all,” they concluded the message. “love you all. I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry.”
Before the show, Smith teased a special guest appearance, whose identity was never revealed.
“We’ve got a surprise for you this evening,” they wrote on Twitter.
“‘Unholy’ won’t be the last song…”
In the end, it wasn’t the last song, as fans were forced to leave the arena and seek refunds from their original point of purchase.
Following orders from their doctors, Smith also canceled two upcoming shows in Glasgow and Birmingham.
“Doctors have advised due to a vocal cord injury, Sam must have complete vocal rest,” a spokesperson for Smith shared via the singer’s Instagram Story on Thursday.
“Sam is heartbroken to have had to cancel these shows but they have been told by doctors that if they keep singing, they will do permanent damage to their voice.”
“If they take some rest, they will be able to perform again.”
Smith also recently came under fire for their racy performance at the 2023 Grammy Awards alongside Kim Petras.
The rendition of their smash single “Unholy” raised the ire of several conservative politicians, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who slammed the performance as “evil.”
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