By EJ Judge, WCBS-FM New York
Cat Stevens has cancelled his New York show at the Beacon Theatre from his upcoming tour in protest of inflated prices of tickets caused by scalping. The December 4th performance has been moved to Philadelphia’s Tower Theatre. The singer — who took the name Yusuf Islam after formally converting to Islam late in 1977 — posted the following statement on his website:
“Unfortunately I will not be performing in NYC this time around but I am looking forward to playing for fans in Philadelphia on December 4 and hope to return to NYC at a future date. My fans will understand and I thank them for informing me about the extortionate tickets prices already being listed on some websites. I have been a longtime supporter of paperless tickets to my shows worldwide and avoiding scalpers. Unfortunately NY has a state law that requires all tickets sold for shows in NYC to be paper, enabling them to be bought and sold at inflated prices. I’m sorry about not being able to now play in NYC but hope to find an opportunity that aligns with my support of this issue in the near future, God willing. Looks like the Peace Train is going to arrive at New York a little bit later than expected.”
Tickets for the Beacon Theatre show had a face value of $190, but AOL reports that one ticket reseller was making them available to the public for as much as $11,000. The inflated resale value of the tickets is most likely the result of the Peace Train… Late Again North American Tour being the first for Islam stateside since 1976 and his self-imposed exile that followed shortly after.