Adele was close to tears when she announced her Las Vegas residency had to be postponed just 24 hours before opening night.
Posting a video to her Instagram to update her followers, a visibly distressed Adele explained 'delivery delays and Covid' hitting the crew meant her show was nowhere near where it needed to be for her to perform - despite her very best efforts.
‘I’m so sorry but my show ain’t ready,’ Adele told her fans. ‘We’ve tried absolutely everything we can to put it together in time and for it to be good enough for you. But we’ve been absolutely destroyed by delivery delays and Covid.’
The Weekends with Adele series was scheduled to run for four months with two shows every weekend at Caesars Palace’s Colosseum until April. The opening night was set to be Adele’s first live concert performance in five years and, with ticket prices ranging from £60-£500, it’s obvious the singer feels deeply troubled by letting her fans down.
‘Half my crew, half my team, have been down with Covid – they still are – and it’s been impossible to finish the show,’ Adele continued. ‘I can’t give you what I have right now, and I’m gutted. I’m gutted and I’m sorry that it’s so last minute. We’ve been awake for over 30 hours now trying to figure it out and we’ve run out of time…
‘I’m so upset, and I’m really embarrassed, and I’m so sorry to everyone who travelled. I’m really really sorry. We’re on it, we’re going to reschedule all of the dates, we’re on it right now. And I’m going to finish my show and I’m going to get it to where it’s supposed to be now for you. I’m so sorry. It’s been impossible. We’ve been up against so much and it just ain’t ready. I’m really sorry.’
The first obvious thought here is that Adele should take her own advice and go easier on herself. The ripple effects of Covid are unavoidable aspects of daily life now and, importantly, completely beyond her control.
What feels notable about this apology is its sincerity. Adele made the effort to turn her camera on and spoke directly to fans as she explained why she had to let them down.
This is markedly different to many celebrity apologies we’ve come to expect. Saying ‘I’m sorry’ has become a curated artform and usually consists of a carefully constructed statement screenshotted from an A-lister’s Notes app and posted to Twitter.
The goal of these apologies crafted by PRs and lawyers is usually damage control. They’re posted to minimise reputational destruction and/or justify wrongdoing. The celebrity gets to say they said 'sorry', without ever having to go through the effort or embarrassment of facing the public. It nearly always feels like a cop out.
For Adele - who has arguably done nothing wrong - to show her face and hold her hands up, while celebrities accused of racism, sexism, homophobia or ill-treatment have hidden behind the Notes app, is a masterclass in what it means to treat your fans with respect.
Could this be the start of an era with more honest, less calculated, celebrity apologies? Adele’s sincerity has undoubtedly been met with a lot of positivity.
‘The only artist to speak directly to their fans about rescheduling and cancellations,’ praised one follower. ‘Please take care of yourself and your team. That is the top priority. We will be here when you’re ready,’ promised another.