Why did 1D break the hearts of 12,500 fans?

One Direction at the Billboard Music Awards, 2015

Story highlights

  • One Direction had been due to perform in Belfast as part of their farewell tour
  • Fans were reduced to tears after an unexpected announcement

(CNN)Fans covered in band merchandise flocked to the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Tuesday night to see One Direction perform.

For most, the gig was to be a bittersweet celebration of the boy band before they break up at the end of the year.
    Tickets for the sold out On The Road Again Tour were in high demand, with some front row seats for remaining nights on sale for upwards of $600 (£413) on ticket resale sites.
    But, last night, One Direction did not even turn up.
    It had all started so well. Excitement had been building in Belfast for months, even all year ...
    Counting down the days to the band's arrival, many fans even reported being unable to sleep ...
    All was going to plan as the huge crowd entered the arena. Supporting act Jamie Lawson finished his set without any glitches and the fans purred with excitement at the prospect of seeing arguably the world's biggest boy band.
    However, just two minutes before One Direction's scheduled start time, they were greeted by this announcement:
    "Unfortunately, the show tonight has been canceled."
    And the floodgates of teenage tears were blown wide open ...
    Boos and wails reverberated around the 12,500 capacity arena and distraught fans reluctantly scrambled towards the exits. Unsurprisingly, many took to Twitter in fury and disbelief:
    A statement by Aiken Promotions clarified that the gig was canceled because Liam Payne was a little, but not seriously, "ill."
    The UK TV presenter Eamonn Holmes made the bold move of criticizing the band's handling of the situation over Twitter ...
    ... and was subsequently savaged by diehard One Direction fans.
    According to Liam's twitter feed, there is good news for those with tickets to tonight's One Direction concert, also at the SSE Arena in Belfast. It will go ahead. Even better, last night's performance has been rescheduled to Friday.
    Those who missed out last night and cannot attend on Friday can console themselves with the latest One Direction track, "Perfect," which the band's management cleverly released this morning.
    Despite last night's concert being less than perfect, it does demonstrate that 1D fans are some of the most devoted in the world. Many were more worried about singer Liam's health than the missed performance.