U.K. Grime star Stormzy pulled out of a scheduled appearance at this weekend’s Snowbombing Festival in Mayrhofen, Austria, after alleging that festival security “racially targeted” and “aggressively handled” his team.
Stormzy told his fans the news in a series of Instagram posts:
“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 adress [sic] the problem.”
He then apologized to his fans.
"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,” he wrote on Instagram. "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.”
A spokesperson for the festival told the Guardian that they were “deeply saddened” by Stormzy’s decision but their staff had acted “in accordance with protocol”.
The spokesperson said: “Snowbombing’s 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.
“Stormzy’s management were unhappy with the manner by which this took place and as a result Stormzy will no longer be performing.”