Live Nation and others have poured cold water on rumours that Prince would play a surprise show tonight in Toronto — issuing statements and apologies via Twitter that ended a day's worth of buzz, rumour and confusion.
"Prince will not be performing at [Massey Hall] tonight," the concert promoter tweeted shortly before 3 p.m., news that dampened the spirits of thousands of fans who had waited in line for hours, in the rain.
It all started early Tuesday when 3rdEyeGirl — Prince's all-female live band — tweeted this cryptic message: "4th day of November, we need a purple high: OTNOROT CALLING…".
The tweet was deleted shortly after 8:30 a.m., but it sent shock waves through Toronto-area Prince fans. The veteran musician played surprise gigs in Europe earlier this year, and once called Toronto home.
Fans were convinced. But after Live Nation made its announcement, they were left wondering what had happened.
"Maybe he's just got a flat tire somewhere, who knows?" said one.
"We can't really blame anybody because all of this is based on speculation," said another.
Members of 3rdEyeGirl tweeted apologies later that evening.
"For all those who waited in line, I apologize for any disappointment caused by the confusion," tweeted guitar player Donna Grantis, a well-known Toronto blues player with musical connections throughout the city.
Drummer Hannah Welton added the day's events were "a total mix up" and that, "there was never a show confirmed."
CBC News was unable to confirm what was going on, but a CBC cameraman at Massey Hall said a drum kit emblazoned with Prince's famous symbol was being set up on stage. The cameraman and a CBC reporter were then asked to leave the venue.
A news release issued by 3rdEyeGirl added that its equipment had been set up "to rehearse lighting and sound for possible future performances."
One Prince fan who heard about the show on Twitter told CBC he's waiting because he's "loved Prince for 25 years."
"His career spans so many different grooves and styles. I love all of it," said the fan, who identified himself only as Tom.
On Saturday, Prince and 3rdEyeGirl played a much-applauded, extended seven-minute set on Saturday Night Live.
Prince himself lived in Toronto for several years in the early 2000s while he was married to Toronto native Manuela Testolini. The pair divorced in 2006.