Muse cancel show in Turkey following the failed military coup
Matt Bellamy Muse

Stadium rockers Muse were set to play Istanbul next week, but following the turbulent events of the weekend, they have pulled out of the show

Muse are currently taking part in a global tour on the back of their 2015 album Drones, performing at festivals in Athens, Bucharest and Reykjavik.

The Devon band were set to headline Istanbul’s Nebula Festival, announcing the news back in April via their Twitter page:

Military coups

However, Turkey’s capital city has faced a troubling time.

Istanbul was host to a military coup last Friday (July 15) which saw tanks on the main bridges, helicopters swooping overhead, as well as soldiers entering television stations to say the Turkish president, Tayyip Erdo─čan, had been overthrown.

The attempted coup was ultimately a failure, but the troubles in Turkey haven’t stopped there – with reports of beheadings in the streets as well as mass arrests.

Following the week’s events, Muse shared a statement yesterday that they would not be playing their scheduled show:

“We regret that in light of recent capricious events in Turkey, we have decided to cancel our concert which was scheduled to take place on July 26th. You can get a full refund for your tickets at or at all Bile outlets. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. We look forward to seeing our Turkish fans in the future.”

“You did the right thing”

Some Turkish fans took to Muse’s official website to express their views on the decision of the band to pull out:

User SongoKU-Erased commented:

“You did the right thing. Most of the people are not in the mood for a concert, worrying about recent news. I hope in the future it will be more enjoyable in a peaceful atmosphere.”

Another user, named poisonblack66 also shared similar sentiments, writing:

“No-one can blame you! I have craved for watching you live. Hope to see you in the future. We apologise for ruining your schedule. I am so sorry…”

“You denied us something beautiful”

Others were not so forgiving of the group:

Another commentor wrote:

“Such a disappointment for me. I was expecting a more motivated Muse to ride with us against everyone who are trying to rule us. But so far I did not realised that Muse is not a highly motivated group against those kind of situations like others I can remember.”

Others pointed to the band’s recent album Drones, which featured a heavily political message of control and state surveillance, as a source of hypocrisy.

Muse fans citizenerased73 wrote:

“Can’t blame you… but nekt [sic] time I’ll listen to defector it will sound so unsincere! You denied us something beautiful in this sh*t of a time”.

“Being overcome by oppressive forces”

The last 18 months has seen the world of popular music dragged kicking and screaming into the political spectrum – from the awful attacks on the Bataclan at the Eagles of Death Metal gig, to the rise of Donald Trump and the result of the EU Referendum.

It would be incredibly unfair to criticise a band for not playing a potentially dangerous city at a time of crisis, but there is something in the Turkish fan who feel the band have turned their back on a political message they adorned for their latest concept album, Drones.

Muse Drones

Matt Bellamy himself described in great detail to Rolling Stone magazine how the politically-charged album is “about being overcome by these oppressive forces”, as well as the concept of trying to “inspire others to think for themselves and think freely and independently.”

Can you drape yourselves in these messages and mantras in the comfort of your studio, but then hide from them when it comes to the real world?


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Main image: Getty