Nicki Minaj’s Manchester show cancelled as singer arrested in Amsterdam

Fans leave Co-op Live arena after the Nicki Minaj concert was cancelled
Fans leave Co-op Live arena after the Nicki Minaj concert was cancelled - Reuters

Nicki Minaj’s Manchester concert was called off on Saturday night after the singer was arrested in the Netherlands for allegedly trying to take drugs through the airport.

The “Starships” singer was taken into custody in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport but has since been released. She will have to pay a fine for “illegally exporting soft drugs from the Netherlands to another country”, Dutch police said.

“They’re trying to keep me from MANCHESTER,” the 41-year-old rapper wrote on social media, where she sent out a constant stream of updates after being detained.

Promoter Live Nation said Minaj’s performance at the Co-op Live arena would be rescheduled and tickets will be honoured.

“Despite Nicki’s best efforts to explore every possible avenue to make tonight’s show happen, the events of today have made it impossible,” the promoter said in a statement. “We are deeply disappointed by the inconvenience this has caused.”

Minaj said Dutch authorities claimed to have found cannabis in her luggage and repeatedly accused them of attempting to sabotage her tour.

In one post, she appeared to suggest that the authorities had planted something in her luggage. In another post she claimed: “They’ve been trying everything they possibly can to TRY to stop this tour.”

“This is Amsterdam btw [by the way], where weed is legal,” she added in a later post.

The show was called off at the last minute
The show was called off at the last minute - Reuters

Co-op Live, the country’s largest entertainment venue, was due to open in April with a performance by comedian Peter Kay.

However, this was postponed so its management could test emergency communications systems. Performances by musicians, including the American singer Olivia Rodrigo, were also cancelled.

Part of the building’s ventilation and air conditioning system fell to the ground during a soundcheck earlier this month.

“We can confirm that we have arrested a 41-year-old American woman at Schiphol Airport because of possession of soft drugs,” a spokesman for the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee military police, told NBC News.

Minaj is due to perform in Birmingham on Sunday as part of her Pink Friday World Tour, followed by a concert at London’s O2 arena next Tuesday.

On Wednesday, she is due to play in Glasgow, before returning to Manchester the following day.