Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: The Depeche Mode cancellation

One of the weirdest concert cancellations happened to Depeche Mode fans in Ottawa when the band was on tour supporting the Violator album in the early 90s.

While the crew was setting up in the Ottawa Civic Center, they dislodged a rather sizable chunk of asbestos from one of the ceiling beams. We all know how bad asbestos can be, which is why Depeche Mode refused to go ahead with the show unless the promoter could prove that the place was safe.

An emergency clean-up team was called in, but that wasn’t good enough. Then the band was shown at least two recent independent engineering studies showing that the asbestos levels in the area were safe. Documents outlined how the bulk of the material in the ceiling tiles had been taken out 7 months earlier.

But Depeche Mode was unconvinced and 6,000 fans in Ottawa were told to stay home.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37808 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

2 thoughts on “Ongoing History Daily: The Depeche Mode cancellation

  • I had tickets to that show. I was pretty disappointed.

    • I found out when I got to the venue and my little teenage heart was broken.


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