Justin Bieber attracts a crowd wherever he goes, but things got a little out of hand in Norway on Wednesday as the pop star kicked off the European promo tour behind his new album, Believe.
Bieber was in the Scandinavian country’s capital city, Oslo, to perform a free six-song concert outside of the Oslo Opera House, but the site was quickly overrun by several thousand fans, who at one point began chasing after a car presumed to be transporting Bieber to the concert location while ignoring police warnings and causing a spike in mobile usage that briefly crippled cellular service in the city.
Police reportedly threated to cancel the performance — and, according to TMZ, nearly declared a state of emergency — before Bieber took to Twitter to try to calm his legion of fans.
“Please listen to the police. I don’t want anyone getting hurt. I want everything to go to plan but your safety must come first,” Bieber tweeted. “For the show to happen u must all listen to the police. We are all concerned for your safety and I want what is best for u. Please listen.”
The “Boyfriend” singer’s words of caution apparently tamed fans enough, and police allowed the show to proceed. However, officials demanded Bieber push the start time back by half an hour so scene security would not deteriorate further.
Billboard reports that an on-scene security officer said “about 15 girls passed out.”
Police cite the venue chosen as one of the key issues that contributed to the chaotic scene: “The concert should be held somewhere other than roof of the Opera, which has clear space limitations,” a police official told the Norwegian NRK news service.
The concert was filmed as part of Bieber’s upcoming “Justin Bieber: All Around the World ” TV special, which follows the singer on his 12-day, seven-country promo tour. The special is set to air at 8 p.m. June 21 on NBC. Bieber is currently on his way to Paris for his next appearance.
This isn’t the first time Bieber’s presence has resulted in an out-of-control scene: In November 2009, a teenage girl was injured and several fights broke out as thousands descended on the Roosevelt Field Mall in Long Island, New York , in what devolved into a stampede ahead of the singer’s scheduled appearance there. Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, was charged with reckless endangerment and criminal nuisance for failing to properly control the situation after receiving police warnings about potential problems at the venue. Those charges were later dropped.