Taylor Swift pulls out of Melbourne Cup concert amid animal rights backlash

Jacob Stolworthy
Getty Images for TAS

Taylor Swift has pulled out of performing at the Melbourne Cup horse racing event amid criticism from animal rights groups.

The singer was accused of “endorsing animal abuse” after she was announced as the headline act, but she’s now cancelled her appearance in Australia citing scheduling issues as the reason.

In a statement, Mushroom Events said that “changes to [Swift’s] Asian promo schedule have made it logistically impossible for her” to perform at the event.

The group that urged Swift to boycott the event, Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses, thinks it was their petition that caused the singer to cancel.

“The pressure on Taylor Swift to cancel her performance was significant,” campaign spokeswoman Kristin Leigh said, adding the group is “absolutely delighted” by the news.

Leigh continued: “Her fans did not want to see her supporting animal abuse. Whilst the reason being used by the racing industry is a scheduling mix up, it appears to us that she has responded to those calls.”

Since 2013, six horses have died at the Melbourne Cup. It’s currently unknown who’ll perform in Swift’s place on 5 November.