I’m writing this letter (blog post, whatever), because lately I’ve been on the verge of making a Chris Crocker style Leave Kanye Alone video. Although to throw a fit, cry and yell when I don’t agree with something is totally my style; vlogging is not so I’m sparing you the video.
If your blood pressure spiked when you realized I don’t share your Kanye/Bonnaroo opinion let’s pause for a moment to chill.
Take a deep breath in, now let in out slowly. Another deep breathe in and out slowly…
I’ve been attending Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival every year since 2007. Yes, I am a Kanye West fan. Yes, I did wait almost two hours to see his 2008 performance. Yes, I did stay for the whole thing. Yes, I’m aware he isn’t the most charismatic person and he usually has a case of foot-in-mouth disease, but what happened at Bonnaroo in 2008 wasn’t his fault.
Deep breath in, now let in out slowly. Another deep breathe in and out slowly…
Stop and take a moment to breath as needed while reading this. We’ll get though this together.
When I read Kanye West’s name on the 2008 Bonnaroo lineup I was ecstatic. I had been fan of his since College Dropout. I have fond memories of my Mom and I listening to his CDs in the car and laughing at the skits.
Bonnaroo had originally scheduled Kanye for 8:15pm on the Which Stage. Keep in mind that Which is the second largest stage at Bonnaroo and he was on the Glow in the Dark tour at the time. It’s not even dark at 8:15pm in June. Kanye’s set time was rescheduled for 3:00am on the What stage to accommodate his tech rider.
A technical rider is a document that specifies the types of equipment to be used, the staff to be provided, and various business arrangements. (Thanks Wiki) Agreeing on and following the tech rider is a big deal. They are written mainly so that a show can be up to par with the other performances of that tour and so the artist and the venue know what to expect.
I’m guessing here, I don’t know the stage or equipment specs and this did happen SIX YEARS ago, so my memory is a little hazy, but I don’t think the Which stage was large enough to accommodate all of equipment needed for his performance. Besides the crowd size alone at Which would have been an issue. Kanye West was already a household name by 2008. Soccer moms were singing “Gold Digger.” Kanye had performed “Stronger” on Ellen. Many virgin Bonnaroovians had probably bought their ticket to see him.
Kanye’s production crew (his crew, not Kanye himself) couldn’t start setting up his stage until Pearl Jam finished their set. Pearl Jam finished an hour later than scheduled. At best considering the circumstances Kanye would have probably been ready at 4:00am. He took the stage just before 4:30am, an hour and half later than scheduled. The crowd had been throwing trash on the stage, which I’m sure only prolonged the set up. You can also factor in he may have been waiting for the “Fuck Kanye” chants to stop and one of his screens had been cracked in the process.
One person told me they think Kanye should have addressed the people who stayed. Considering one guy kept chanting, “I would leave, but the tent’s too far.” I don’t think it would have helped. Besides what would he say? I’m sorry my “Glow in the Dark” show was scheduled during daylight. I’m sorry all my equipment wouldn’t fit the Which stage. I’m sorry I’m having a hard time moving around this trash. I’m sorry you guys cracked my screen while throwing shit.
If you don’t take anything else from this, I would like you to know this. Kanye West isn’t coming back to Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in the near future. Honestly I think that this becomes rumor so people have an excuse to bring him up and bitch. This shit happened in 2008. You don’t have to forgive him, but at very least shut up about it. Stop acting like it happened last week.
I still love my Bonnaroovian family. I just wish we could move past this. Let it be. There are so many more positive and beautiful things we can discuss about Bonnaroo. See you in June!
Peace and Love,
P.S. IF he or any artist you don’t like plays Bonnaroo go to another stage, go shop, eat, chill with your friends.