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The show will go on: Morgan Wallen tabbed to take Oxford after controversial run

Photo from Ole Miss Athletics

Morgan Wallen is no stranger to controversy – especially here in Mississippi – but the country music star will look to shake any hard feelings this weekend when he returns to Oxford.

About a year ago, nearly 60,000 fans filled Vaught-Hemingway Stadium to hear the “Last Night” singer for the second leg of a two-night stint on the campus of Ole Miss. Six minutes before showtime, an antagonizing message appeared on video boards around the venue: “Ladies and gentlemen, unfortunately Morgan has lost his voice and is unable to perform tonight – therefore tonight’s show has been cancelled. Please make your way safely to stadium exits. Refunds for tonight’s event will be available at point of purchase.”

The video screen message that fans saw six minutes before Morgan Wallen was set to take the stage in Oxford on April 23, 2023 (Photo by SuperTalk Mississippi News)

As excited fans quickly turned angry, Wallen became the subject of harsh criticism and even a handful of lawsuits as people from out of town wanted to be reimbursed for travel costs, merchandise purchases, and more. Wallen didn’t do much to help his case as he waited two weeks to break his silence on the matter, finally apologizing and vowing to reschedule.

“To everyone in Oxford, I just wanted to reiterate how sorry I am the way that went down,” Wallen said on social media. “I thought I was going to be good to go, and I just wasn’t.”

The firestorm created by the cancellation also created a lot of theories as to why Wallen opted out of performing. The now 30-year-old claimed vocal issues from the get-go, however, a video surfaced on TikTok of a security officer telling concertgoers that the real reason Wallen couldn’t perform was because he was “too drunk” and had to be escorted off the premises in an ambulance. While that was never confirmed by anyone from Wallen’s team, it didn’t help ease the mob of displeased fans.

Over 11 months later, Wallen put both his rescheduled Oxford stop – set for April 20, 2024 – and chances at making amends with fans in jeopardy after being arrested in Nashville for drunkenly throwing a chair off the sixth floor of a downtown bar, barely missing a pair of metro police officers. When SuperTalk Mississippi News exchanged emails with Ole Miss athletics director Keith Carter last Monday, he said the university was “monitoring” Wallen’s arrest but hoped to still host the No. 1 country artist. Since, university officials and even head football coach Lane Kiffin has confirmed that the show will go on.

Kiffin’s post didn’t come without jokes as one user wrote, “Keep a close watch on those chairs, Lane” and another quipped “Hide yo chairs, hide yo wife!”

As Wallen awaits a court appearance on May 3 for three felony counts of reckless endangerment, a spokesperson for the artist has confirmed that he will continue to play in the meantime. Wallen’s Oxford show is set for 4:30 p.m., and as of last check, tickets were still available.

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