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Queens Chronicle

M.I.A. performance at Knockdown Ctr. nixed

First show canceled, second still on

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Posted: Thursday, May 8, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:41 am, Thu May 15, 2014.

Grammy-nominated female rapper M.I.A. may have throngs of adoring fans all over the world, but she apparently isn’t such a huge box office draw in Queens.

The popular artist was scheduled to play two shows at the Knockdown Center, the controversial arts and entertainment venue at 52-19 Flushing Ave. in Maspeth, on May 8 and 9, but the first show was canceled on May 1 allegedly due to sluggish ticket sales.

Those who bought the $38 tickets to the May 8 concert are eligible for a refund or may use them at the following night’s show, according to an email sent to ticket holders from Live Nation, the global music management corporation in charge of promoting the performances.

“M.I.A. with special guest A$AP Ferg at the Knockdown Center on Thursday, May 8th has been cancelled,” the email reads. “All tickets will be honored on Friday, May 9th. Refunds are available at the point of purchase.”

On Friday, the listing for the May 8 concert had been removed from the British-born, Sri Lankan-raised rapper’s website, as well as those of the Knockdown Center and Ticketweb.

Since the two concerts were announced last month, there had been speculation among community officials as to whether they would go on.

Community Board 5, elected officials such as state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach), and the 104th Precinct have all firmly expressed their displeasure over the venue hosting the concerts and the potential consequences, including noise levels and potential drug and alcohol use among underage attendees.

The State Liquor Authority denied two temporary liquor license applications for the nights of the concerts two weeks ago.

A place of assembly permit to allow up to 5,000 people to gather at the venue is still pending.

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