Elton John Drops Hong Kong Concerts

Feb. 14 [7:55 EST] -- When Hong Kong marks its return to Chinese rule this year, it will be without Elton John.

According to Reuters, the artist has pulled out of plans for two outdoor concerts after local legislators raised concerns about the noise level of the shows.

The powers that be in Hong Kong have said that they will strictly adhere to noise restrictions at the venue, with politicians even suggesting that the audience listen to the show through headphones at the concert. Citing the legislature's concerns, John¼s management released a statement on Friday announcing that plans for the shows would be dropped.

"The (noise restriction) waiver was instrumental to negotiations and, there being no suitable alternative venues, it will therefore be impossible to stage the concerts," the release reportedly said.

The headphone suggestion drew heated rebuttals from local newspapers, with one writing, "The city with noise pollution that shatters the nerves of

citizens on 364 days of the year is now going to turn a pop concert on the 365th into a mime act during celebrations of one of its most historic events of the century."