The Big For Your Boots rapper was expected to perform at the annual music festival on Thursday night, but organisers announced he would no longer be appearing. Attendees who travelled all the way from the UK have said that ‘something had to happen’ despite missing out on seeing the 25-year-old hit the stage because he is ‘well within his right.’
Daz, a black man from London, explained his own experience with security at the event, adding that he could ‘totally understand’ why the rapper made his decision. Speaking to Metro.co.uk, the 30-year-old said: ‘So when I approach the club I have two mobile phones with me, one for business and one personal. He [the security guard] looked at the mobile phone, he looked at me, and asked me to open my mouth.
‘If Stormzy experienced something similar, I can totally understand. ‘Obviously, I’m disappointed, but if that means that he got discriminated against or his people did, he’s more than within his rights to say, and if the event organisers weren’t looking to address the situation, by all means, you have to stand by your morals and have integrity.
He added: ‘So just because he’s a performer, he’s not a monkey, he’s not meant to jump around if he feels violated. If Snowbombing didn’t want to address the situation or wanted to push it under the rug, you can’t make a bigger statement than not performing.
‘To not perform, that’s serious – so something must have happened.’ Describing last night’s performances Daz went on to say that Stormzy’s absence was very noticeable. ‘It seems like the festival had no backup plan, you can kind of understand,’ he told us. ‘All the performances afterwards at racket club – they were flat, the earlier ones, because they weren’t meant to perform then.’ D
ominic, 27, Cambridge also described his disappointment while noting that he was ‘not surprised’ by the incident. The music fan said: ‘I’m sad, but ultimately it would be hypocritical if he was to just walk up there and perform and not take some sort of stand against it. I can see it happening, the staff seemed to be predominately white, so it would make sense that they might accidentally slip into it [racism].
‘I don’t know what happened so you can’t place the blame anywhere, but it seems the right thing to do not to perform, rather than to perform under those circumstances.’
However, not everyone shares this sentiment as some users urged the grime artist to overlook the incident. ‘Grow up stormzy….. there is a problem with violence. Accept it,’ shared one fan on Twitter.
Another accused Stormzy of pulling out of the festival for attention, writing: ‘Come on… it’s a publicity stunt… you won’t stop the name calling… all races have racist views and jokes… not all people though! It is name calling… that’s it. Have you heard this guys lyrics? F*** me! I like Stormzy but i hate all this crap.’
Stormzy, real name Michael Omari Owuo Jr, explained his reasons on Instagram Stories on Thursday, with a statement saying: ‘First and foremost f**k @snowbombingofficial Bunch of p***yholes.’ He continued: ‘Secondly, my sincerest apologies to anyone who travelled all that way to watch me perform I’m genuinely upset that you’ve wasted your time and money and that burns me more than you’d know. ‘The last ever thing I wanna do is let down anyone who’s taken time out to support me. 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 [sic].’ Stormzy went on to explain how he took the ‘drastic steps’ of cancelling his set in order to make a point about ‘racism and racial profiling’.
The Shut Up rapper added: ‘And I’m very, genuinely sorry that it’s unfortunately at the expense of supporters and festival go-ers who’ve spent their hard earned money and time. ‘My manager and all my friends who were at the festival were racially profiled, targeted and aggressively handled because they had “reason to believe someone was carrying a weapon”. ‘The security targeted them (despite no one fitting the description), were physically aggressive when handling them and there’s been no effort from the festival to actually deal and address the problem.’
Snowbombing confirmed that they were alerted to a possible security threat that an individual might have been carrying a weapon.
In a statement, they said: ‘In accordance with protocol, 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 and as a result Stormzy will no longer be performing tonight. ‘This evening’s Forest Party will now not go ahead as planned. We are deeply saddened that any individual would feel uncomfortable at Snowbombing.’