The China Files: Fans dragged out of Dua Lipa concert in Shanghai for standing and waving pride flags

Screengrabs via Twitter video.
Screengrabs via Twitter video.

There were tears in Shanghai last night after British pop star Dua Lipa’s first-ever tour of China ended with fans being ejected from the arena for either standing up or waving pride flags.

Videos of security guards forcefully dragging fans out of their seats at the Shanghai National Exhibition & Convention Center last night were posted on Twitter and Weibo, and in one instance, guards were spotted kicking and harassing a fan outside the arena after the concert was over.

One video posted online shows a guard forcefully trying to pull a female fan out of her seat and over a row of seats in front of her, prompting other audience members nearby to boo and one woman to shout “how can you grab a girl like that?”

The security guard responds: “I told you to sit down, but you didn’t sit.”

In another instance, a female fan, who was on her feet dancing, hugged a security guard who she thought wanted to join in the fun, only for him to throw her to the ground and drag her out of her seat as Lipa was performing.

And it wasn’t just standing that was a big no-no last night, one fan was dragged out for reportedly waving a rainbow flag.

The British pop star, known for hits such as New Rules and IDGAF, has not yet publicly responded to the scenes of fans being dragged out, but was filmed tearfully addressing fans last night.

“I want to create a really safe environment for us all to have fun. I want us all to dance, I want us all to sing, I want us all to just have a really good time,” she said.

“We’re not here for much longer, we have only a few more songs, and I would love in these last few songs for us to really, really, really enjoy ourselves. How about that?”

It is not clear why security guards at the arena wouldn’t let fans stand up at the concert, particularly one involving danceable pop music in which the performer is encouraging people to dance.

The scenes prompted outrage from mainland netizens on Weibo, with some remarking that although it was rude for some fans to block the view of the stage, the security guards were still unnecessarily aggressive.

“The security guards are not treating them like people, these people bought tickets for this show!” commented one person.

Other described the behavior of the security guards as “shameful” and stressed their actions were considered unacceptable to vast majority of people in China.

The show was the last part of the China leg for Lipa’s tour, with her next shows in Manila and Bangkok.

Let’s hope things go better there.

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