Top 10 Onstage Fails


Reminding us that they’re very much human like the rest of us, famous performers have their fair share of stage dramas. Falls, flames and pigeon poo, these acts have experienced some epic onstage fails.

1. The Edge (U2) vs The Edge (of the stage)

The Edge failed to notice the stage’s edge… you couldn’t make it up!

2. Dave Grohl vs Stage

Foo Fighters missed their original Glastonbury headline slot thanks to an onstage fail when frontman Dave Grohl fell off stage and broke his leg. Like a true rock star he continued the gig though.

3. Madonna vs Cape

When Madonna fell backwards off steps during her 2015 BRIT awards performance she blamed it on a fastening being too tight. A consummate professional, she continued her performance and thanked well wishers for their support on social media afterwards.

4. Michael Clifford (5 Seconds of Summer) vs Pyro

Australian pop-punk band 5 Seconds of Summer finished a concert early when guitarist Michael was caught in a pyrotechnic display. His hair caught on fire and he was rushed to hospital with burns to his face. Fortunately he posted soon after to assure fans that he was in a stable condition and has since made a full recovery.

5. Michael Jackson vs Pyro

Still one of the most shocking onstage fails is Michael Jackson’s flaming hair incident from a Pepsi commercial in the mid ’80s. The moment was replicated by Eminem in his ‘Just Lose It’ video.

6. Milli Vanilli vs Tape

One of the most devastating onstage fails imaginable, German New Jack Swing duo Milli Vanilli’s lip syncing was exposed when the tape recording skipped during a ‘live’ show. Both former models and dancers, Fab and Rob were recruited to form a group when the debut single had already been recorded; none of the music on their album featured their vocals so they were forced to rely on backup singers and lip sync during performances.

7. Ashlee Simpson vs Tape

Ashlee Simpson’s band were given their time to shine when she experienced an epic lip sync fail on Saturday Night Live. Ashlee’s voice played but the microphone wasn’t to her mouth  so she decided to dance a quick jig before making an embarrassed exit stage right.

8. Beyonce vs Fan

Beyonce of course has some big fans, but she probably didn’t expect to be accosted by the static air blowing kind during her Mrs Carter World Tour. This is exactly what happened at her Montreal show, but fortunately her entourage were on hand to unhook her from its clutches.

9. P Diddy vs Trap Door

“Every man falls down but its about how you pick yourself up” says US talk show host Seth Meyers as he interviews Sean “Diddy” Combs about his onstage fail. The rapper confesses to an embarrassed expression after he manages to push himself quickly back out of a trap door, but fortunately he wasn’t facing the camera so had a few moments to compose himself before resuming his performance like a pro.

10. Kings of Leon vs Pigeons

Kings of Leon abandoned a show in St Louis, Missouri because a pigeon defecated in their bassist’s mouth. Arguably one of the most bizarre cancellation reasons, the band ignored their support act’s advice and took to the stage despite their equipment already being covered in pigeon business.

Written by Laura Thomas

Social Media and Marketing Executive at Vocalzone. The Simpsons, The Wicker Man (original!), real crime shows, metal, punk and the new punk (grime)