Fans Furious As ‘Idol’ Star Abruptly Cancels Festival Appearance Again

Music Festival Crowd

Getty Music festival crowd

Fantasia Barrino has some fans up in arms over her last-minute announcement that she will not perform as scheduled at the Cincinnati Music Festival (CMF) on July 22. This is the second time Barrino has canceled her appearance at the festival, and she did not provide a reason for her absence.

The powerhouse singer, who won the third season of “American Idol” in 2004, recently wrapped months of filming a star-studded musical adaptation of “The Color Purple.” Barrino plays Celie, a role she earned rave reviews for on Broadway in 2007, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

On her 38th birthday, July 30, Barrino posted an emotional video of Grammy winner Le’Andria Johnson surprising her on-set, singing a soulful version of “Happy Birthday” alongside the cast.  In the post, Barrino wrote, “This here gave me the push I needed to finish this journey as Celie once again. I have put in blood, sweat and tears for this role with a lot of long nights, early mornings, sacrifices and pushing myself to new limits. I can’t wait for the world to see this Fantasia.”


Fantasia Cancels CMF Appearance — Again

Late in the day on July 21, Barrino posted the same message across her social media platforms. She uploaded an image of herself with this text: “To all my CMF Fans, I’m so sorry I won’t be with you to celebrate this year. Wishing you all the best and promise to be back soon.”

In the caption of the image, Barrino wrote, “Heartbroken that I’ll have to miss this performance but I’ll be back soon, Cincinnati!” The singer nor event organizers provided a reason for her absence or any options for ticket refunds, but CMF announced that R&B singer Keyshia Cole would be her replacement.

This is not the first time the singer has backed out of CMF, which began as an all-jazz concert in 1962, but has become the largest music festival featuring an eclectic mix of R&B, jazz, soul and hip-hop. The 2022 event marks the return of the festival after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic; Barrino had been scheduled to perform both years. Barrino was also scheduled to perform at the 2018 festival, but canceled due to illness, tweeting at the time that her doctor advised her not to travel.


Fans Express Outrage, But Barrino Has Blocked Most Social Media Comments

Fantasia Barrino performs

GettyFantasia Barrino performs at the 2019 BET Awards.

Barrino clearly knew fans would not be happy with her cancelation because she blocked them from leaving comments on most of her social media accounts. She turned comments off on her Instagram post, limited who could comment on her Facebook post, and only allowed a couple of people to comment on Twitter (both whom expressed their love for her).

But ticketholders let their irritation be known on CMF’s social media pages, including their Facebook page, which received hundreds of comments about Barrino’s change of plans.

One frustrated fan wrote, “I got tickets Just to see her! At this Point, I’m not Ever going to try to see her again in Concert, it’s unpredictable and 2 apologies and promises is 1 too many.”

Another chimed in, “This the second time! If she don’t want to come just say that.”

Someone who’d seen Barrino’s Instagram post wrote, “Fantasia think she’s slick she cut them comments off on her IG cuz she know she wrong.”

And another fan said, “Y’all need to stop booking Fantasia she’s no longer interested in coming to our events. She’s done this 2x. I’m a fan but I’m not longer booking her shows. I’ll watch on YouTube. Such a disappointment.”

According to Barrino’s website, she has 14 remaining concerts in 2022. Meanwhile, “The Color Purple” is due in theaters in Dec. 2023.

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