Robert Pattinson and Suki Waterhouse have embarked on what will be the most expensive and ambitious world tour of 2022. The couple has spent the last year preparing for this moment, traveling Europe and North America extensively and building a team of personal assistants and security guards.
It was first reported that the couple was looking to take a relatively minimalistic approach to their budget. They reportedly wanted to enjoy the experience of a lifetime without worrying about finances too much. As a result of this desire, they have limited the number of shows and exhibitions they have committed to, which has helped them keep a relatively low profile while on the road. They have also been known to skip meals and give up luxury vehicles in order to save money.
It was also initially reported that they were going to try and keep tickets as accessible as possible. They reportedly did not want to profit off of the tour, and had no interest in making it exclusive to people with hefty wallets.
However, this was never truly the couple’s intention. In an interview with The Telegraph, Pattinson explained: “I’ve always believed that art and access to it should be for everyone. It shouldn’t matter what your purse is like. Or what country you come from. Or whether you’re rich or whether you’re poor. … We want to put on a show that the whole world can enjoy, not just the affluent few.”
This sentiment was echoed in an interview with Variety, where Waterhouse said: “The whole point is to show that we’re not limited by our background or how much money we have. If we can pull this off and use our platform for something inspiring, then that’s what’s important.”
The results of this philosophy are clear to see. For their first show, which was held in London last November, the couple sold out the 100-seat Hammersmith Apollo within five minutes, despite there being no advertising and minimal social media campaigns. This was followed by a string of sellouts and hugely successful shows in Europe and North America. The couple’s first show in Japan, which was held in March of this year, broke the venue’s record for most people in attendance at a concert (the previous record was also held by Pattinson).
Why Are They Doing This?
After years of being the face of marketing campaigns for high profile companies, and being hailed as “Britain’s sweetheart,” it’s fair to say that Waterhouse is now more famous than her boyfriend. It was only a matter of time before this fame caught up with them, and they found themselves at the center of an international incident. The couple became embroiled in a social media war when a video made by an Indonesian man who had attended one of the couple’s London shows went viral. In the video, Pattinson is seen berating a woman for taking a photograph with her cellphone during the concert, declaring that “If someone wants to take a photo of your ugly face, then we can send 100 photographers from Jakarta to take care of you.”
Incensed by this, the Indonesian woman, Acheen Fatima, began an online crusade against the couple, accusing them of being racist and promoting racism. She also accused them of supporting colonialism and being complicit in the “brutal oppression” of Indonesian women. In response, Indonesia summoned the British ambassador, who issued a statement saying that the remarks were “unacceptable” and that the ambassador had “expressed [his] regret” to the foreign minister.
The publicity that followed this incident was arguably unprecedented. Even now, people are still talking about it and comparing it to the 1989 Hillsborough scandal, when Liverpool fans confronted and abused the English football team after it defeated Nottingham Forest in the Football League Championship. When that game was broadcast live on British television, the entire country was watching, and the fans’ anger was unleashed before anyone could stop them.
Indonesia is not the only country where the couple’s fame has landed them in trouble recently. In February, they were forced to apologize for a joke that they told at a press conference in Sydney. According to a report in The Australian, the couple, who were promoting their joint fragrance, made a tasteless joke about the city’s most famous architectural attraction, the Sydney Opera House. When asked about the design of the building, which features sails that change colour in the sun, they replied: “It looks like a vagina, and we’re proud of it.” This triggered a wave of outrage in Australia, with many people criticizing the couple for what they said and the way they said it.
Perhaps the most egregious insult came from Waterhouse’s fellow Yorkshiremen, the Backstreet Boys. At a concert in Leeds, England, on March 12, the group, whose name is a play on words, mocked the couple by singing “Yorkshire friggin’ women, they’re so funny” during a song about the northern English county. The audience responded by booing and hissing at the musicians. This prompted the stage hands to rush on stage and stop the concert, as fans were incensed not just at the couple’s misstep but also at what they saw as a slight against their beloved Yorkshire.
The booing had an effect. A few days later, Waterhouse issued a statement apologizing for the incident. However, the damage had already been done. Reports in The Guardian stated that the couple’s scheduled shows in the city had been canceled, and that ticket holders had been offered refunds or rescheduled shows. According to The Guardian, “Leeds United also said that [the couple’s] visit was] ‘regrettable’ and that it was ‘disappointing’ that the performers would not be visiting again.” The Australian’s Merissa Meerkat said that the incident was “a PR nightmare” for the couple.
The Show Must Go On
Despite these setbacks, and the significant publicity they have drawn, the couple have not given up. Indeed, they have proven to be remarkably resourceful, with the Telegraph reporting that they have a staff of 12, including bodyguards, security guards, and assistants. This group of people are tasked with ensuring the couple’s 24-hour security, as well as with helping to plan the couple’s itinerary for the coming months. They started this process in December, when they were last in the public eye, and have been working hard to ensure that their world tour continues as planned.
This team effort is what has enabled them to stay relatively low-profile and continue to draw a large audience. However, it has also exposed them to a new type of threat. Social media is a Wild West where anything can happen, and it’s critical that the couple are constantly on their guard. The threat from anonymous trolls and online criminals has never been greater, and it’s definitely something that they have to be mindful of.
Where Do They Go From Here?
With only a few months left on the tour, it’s clear that the couple have not one but two careers ahead of them. Not only will they be pursuing film and music for commercial purposes, but they will also have the option of producing TV shows or even a movie.
The Hammersmith Apollo is a centerpoint on their itinerary, as it is the largest venue of the tour and one of the couple’s favorite London concert halls. They will also be performing in front of big-name musical artists, such as Elton John and Beyoncé, at festivals like the Isle of Wight and Lollapalooza.
One of the things that makes the couple so attractive is that they are constantly thinking about the future. It is clear that they are driven by a desire to succeed, and, as a result, they have crafted an incredibly detailed plan of action, one that takes into account every aspect of their lives, both public and private.