MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - Environmental activist and musician Sting has officially cancelled his Back to Bass Tour at the SM-Mall of Asia (SM MOA) Arena after fans raised concerns about SM's record moving trees in its Baguio City property.
The Philippine concert will push through but at the Araneta Coliseum, said his official website www.sting.com. "There is no change to the show date, which remains Sunday, December 9th, 2012," said the site.
In a press release, SM MOA said that lawyer Cheryl Daytec-Yangot, with the Baguio-based environmentalist group Project Save 182, wrote to Sting's agents calling on them to change the venue.
"I wrote a letter to Sting’s agents appealing that they abandon SM-Mall of Asia Arena as the venue for the musician’s December concert. Sting, a voice of the oppressed, cannot sing in the halls of the oppressor," Daytec-Yangot wrote on her Facebook.
Sting has been recognized and supported by fans for his environmental activism. In 1989, he and his wife Trudie Styler founded the Rainforest Foundation to support indigenous people in efforts to protect their environment and the world's rainforest.
In a press release SM MOA said, "The SM MOA Arena has nothing to do with the case in Baguio except for the fact that it is also under the same holding company as the Baguio branch. However, with this letter to Sting, it seems that the activists behind Project Save 182 are bent on taking down the SM brand in general."
The statement added, "With this successful move to stop Sting from holding the concert at SM MOA Arena, and referring to the venue as an 'oppressor', it is now looking more like the court battle has extended from saving trees, to ruining a corporate giant’s reputation completely."
Daytec-Yangot celebrated on her Facebook with the message below.
Those who already bought tickets for the MOA show can contact Ovation Productions at (02) 532-8883 and (02) 747-2143 for a refund.
Sting's official website explained that fans who already have reserved tickets will be able to swap their tickets for a comparable reserved ticket at the new venue. Tickets can be exchanged starting October 25, when a special window will be opened at the Ticketnet Office located at the Araneta Coliseum. Fans can exchange their tickets up to the date of the show but refunds will only be available up to Sunday, November 18 at SM Tickets. - Rappler.com