Leonard Cohen postpones Cambodia gig indefinitely

Leonard Cohen returned to the stage in 2008 after a 15-year absence

Leonard Cohen postpones Cambodia gig indefinitely

PHNOM PENH — Fans of Canadian singer Leonard Cohen reacted with disappointment after the artist delayed a plan for his first-ever concert in Cambodia indefinitely.

The musical and literary giant known for songs such as "So Long, Marianne" and "First We Take Manhattan" was to perform at Phnom Penh's Olympic Stadium on November 27 in the only scheduled gig in Asia on his world tour.

The concert "has been postponed to a date to be announced due to logistical issues insurmountable in the given time prior to the performance," organisers said in a statement on the Mekong Sessions website on Tuesday.

"Leonard Cohen remains committed to performing in Cambodia," the statement added, without specifying a date. It said all ticket holders would receive full refunds.

Following the announcement, dozens of Cohen fans flooded online message boards to voice their dismay.

"I can't find words to express my disappointment and anger," wrote an Internet user by the name of Gibbons on the Leonard Cohen Forum.

Before the postponement, the concert had come in for criticism for its expensive tickets.

Single tickets started at 282.50 US dollars -- an eye-wateringly high price in a country where around 30 percent of the population lives on less than 50 cents a day.

Proceeds of the concert were due to go to local charities.

"I wonder whether having set ridiculously high prices and therefore not selling enough tickets is the main insurmountable logistical issue," wrote Internet user Sok Poupe on Khmer 440, a popular website for expats in Cambodia.

Cohen returned to the stage in 2008 after a 15-year absence during which he spent time in a Buddhist monastery in California.

More than 1,000 renditions of Cohen's work have been recorded by artists as diverse as R.E.M., Elton John, Willie Nelson and Tori Amos. Cohen is also a published novelist and poet.

The postponement of the Phnom Penh concert is not the first upset of Cohen's tour. Promoters AEG Live recently announced the cancellation of his December 4 performance in Honolulu, Hawaii, also citing "logistical issues".

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