stormzy pulled out of a festival, saying his manager was racially profiled
The London MC was set to headline Snowbombing festival in Austria on Thursday night.
Photography Oliver Hadlee Pearch. Styling Max Clark.
Stormzy pulled out of a festival appearance in Austria on Thursday after he alleged that the festival’s staff were racially profiling members of his team.
The festival in question, called Snowbombing, announced that the South London rapper would no longer be performing in a statement on their website. They say that it was alleged that someone at the festival was carrying a weapon and that “a small number of attendees, including Stormzy’s manager, were escorted to the nearest exit, searched and no weapon was found”.
“Stormzy's management were unhappy with the manner by which this took place,” the statement continued, “and as a result Stormzy will no longer be performing tonight.”
Shining more light on the situation, Stormzy shared on his Instagram story that he decided to pull out of the festival “to make a point against racism and racial profiling”, dubbing the festival a “bunch of pussyholes”.
"This is the kind of soul draining shit black people gotta deal with all the fucking time and I’m sick of it so fuck the festival and fuck my performance. Again, deeply sorry to everyone who came, but I need you to understand why this is necessary in the grand scheme of tryna fight back against racism.”
Firstly, he apologised to any fans that had paid money and travelled to see his set. “The last ever thing I wanna do is let down anyone who’s taken time out to support me,” he wrote. “So please hear me out, I too would be fuming if I travelled and spent money to go and watch an artist and they pull out last minute. However, if these are the drastic steps that I need to take to make a point against racism and racial profiling, then trust me I’m taking it.”
Continuing, he said that security at the festival targeted his team despite none of them matching descriptions of those individuals who were allegedly carrying weapons, noting that they were physically aggressive towards them, too. “This is the kind of soul draining shit black people gotta deal with all the fucking time and I’m sick of it so fuck the festival and fuck my performance,” he added. “Again, deeply sorry to everyone who came, but I need you to understand why this is necessary in the grand scheme of tryna fight back against racism.”
Stormzy later shared a tweet of a white festival-goer who said that he believed that the search must have been an honest mistake. “I can honestly say the security team [at Snowbombing] are the kindest, most welcoming collections of humans you could ever wish to meet,” the person wrote on Twitter. “Sounds like an honest mistake and Stormzy is making his fans suffer. Poor form.” Indeed, others commented underneath Snowbombing Festival’s tweet announcing that Stormzy had pulled out how disappointed they were with the rapper.
“What a petty, shit reason to cancel on the thousands of fans here to see him. I’m absolutely gutted about this,” one wrote. “Security teams here have been absolutely the best everywhere I have been so this sounds like a bullshit thing to do. Hope he can’t get a flight home and has to walk.”
However, according to DJ MK, a presenter on Kiss FM, this is the first time he says he’s seen artists get hassled by security. “I’ve djed at snowbombing at least 6 times over the years and never been searched for a weapon,” he wrote on Twitter. “In fact I’ve never seen ANY artist searched full stop at Snow Bombing.”
Meanwhile, Stormzy is set to headline this year’s Glastonbury Festival. His appearance follows the release of his memoir Rise Up: The #Merky Story So Far; the launch of #Merky Books, which aims to discover and publish a new generation of writers; and a scholarship designed to support black students from underprivileged backgrounds during their studies at Cambridge University.
This article originally appeared on i-D UK.