Stormzy pulls out of Snowbombing festival over claims his manager and friends were 'racially profiled'

Rapper says incident happened during a weapon search

Clémence Michallon
New York
Friday 12 April 2019 07:50
Stormzy headlines the Main Stage on Day 2 of  Wireless Festival 2018 at Finsbury Park on 7 July, 2018 in London, England.
Stormzy headlines the Main Stage on Day 2 of Wireless Festival 2018 at Finsbury Park on 7 July, 2018 in London, England.

Stormzy has pulled out of the Snowbombing festival, alleging that his manager and friends were ”racially profiled, targeted and aggressively handled” during a weapon search.

The rapper and the festival, currently taking place in the Austrian Alps, broke the news on Thursday.

In his account of the incident, Stormzy said his team was unfairly targeted after festival staffers were alerted to the possibility that someone could be carrying a weapon.

“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,’” he wrote in his Instagram Story.

“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.”

He added: “his is the kind of soul draining s*** black people gotta deal with all the f****** time.”

Stormzy apologised to his fans, telling them that he would be “fuming” if he had purchased a ticket to see an artist perform, only for the show to be cancelled.

“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,” he added.

Snowbombing addressed the cancellation in a statement, saying that on Wednesday, 10 April at night, the festival’s security team “were alerted to the possibility that an individual at the festival was allegedly carrying a weapon”.

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“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,” the statement reads.

“Stormzy’s management were unhappy with the manner by which this took place and as a result Stormzy will no longer be performing tonight. [...] We are deeply saddened that any individual would feel uncomfortable at Snowbombing.”

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The festival’s team added:​ “Snowbombing would like to wholeheartedly apologise to Stormzy’s team. We are doing everything we can to understand the full situation and are treating this with the utmost seriousness to ensure this does not happen again.”