Stormzy was scheduled to perform at Snowbombing Festival in Austria yesterday (11 April), but instead took to Instagram to announce his cancellation.
Snowbombing has released a statement on its website, clarifying that, on 10 April, security were alerted to the possibility that an individual at the festival was allegedly carrying a weapon. “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.”
However, Stormzy has accused festival security of racially profiling his team. “My manager and all my friends who were at the festival were racially profiled, targeted and aggressively handled. The security targeted them (despite no one fitting the description),” Stormzy wrote on his Instagram story. He added there had been no effort made from the festival to address the problem.
In his 18-page Instagram story, Stormzy started with an apology for the fans, “I’m genuinely very sorry that it’s unfortunately at the expense of supporters and festival go-ers,” he said. “The last ever thing I wanna do is let 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.”
Stormzy went on to clarify his decision to cancel the appearance, following the incident with security. “If these are the drastic steps I need to take to make a point against racism and racial profiling then trust me I’m taking it. 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.”
Snowbombing has also issued a “wholehearted apology” to Stormzy’s team and stated they are doing everything they can to fully understand the situation. The festival has said they’re treating the incident “with the utmost seriousness to ensure this does not happen again.”
The Austrian festival celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, on 8-13 April. Those booked for the line-up alongside Stormzy include Bicep, Palms Trax, Moxie and Flava D. The festival programme is held across the streets and mountains of Mayrhofen.