By Mark Rigby, Adam Stephen and Fiona Sewell
Leading Indigenous artist Dan Sultan has apologised to his fans and says he is “seeking professional help” after a show in Cairns that was labelled “profoundly disappointing and disrespectful”.
Concertgoers took to social media immediately after Saturday’s event to voice their concern for the artist and demand refunds.
In a clip posted to social media, Sultan can be seen singing out of tune and forgetting the words while performing a cover of the Britney Spears track Baby One More Time.
The ARIA-award winning artist has been on tour for the past two months. (Facebook: Dan Sultan)
In a statement on Monday Sultan said there was no excuse for his behaviour on the night.
“I want to apologise to all of my fans, particularly those who were at the Cairns show on Saturday night. My behaviour was inexcusable and disrespectful,” Sultan said.
“I am taking stock of my personal situation and am seeking professional help.”
Sultan, who emerged onto Australia’s music scene in 2006, has been on the road with his Killer Solo Tour since late March.
Saturday night’s show in Cairns was the second last on the schedule.
‘The crowd were so incensed’
Concertgoer Frank D’Angelico said he left the gig before it ended.
“It was profoundly sad to watch such a great artist, who is so soulful and such a brilliant songwriter, in such a poor condition,” Mr D’Angelico said.
Mr D’Angelico said Sultan “clearly had no idea of how bad his performance was”.
“The crowd were so incensed by it that it was starting to get really ugly so we just decided to leave,” he said.
Mr D’Angelico said Sultan’s performance paled in comparison to his last show in Cairns in 2014.
“They were absolute rock star, rock gods for that night — it was one of the best gigs I’ve ever seen,” he said.
Fellow concertgoer Vicky Wilson said her suspicions were roused when Sultan fell off his stool during the performance.
“It was a bit like ‘oh, what’s happening here?'” Ms Wilson said.
“Then the whispers started behind us and it just wasn’t a normal kind of performance.
“I’m very sad for him. I think it’s very upsetting that he’s obviously going through something and his management team could have dealt with it a bit better.”
TicketLink has offered to refund tickets to anyone who attended the Cairns show on Saturday.