Kanye West’s late night performance at Bonnaroo was delayed nearly two hours, angering the festival crowd who responded by chanting “Kanye sucks” and pelting the empty stage with glow sticks.
West had been scheduled to take the main stage at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival at 2:45 a.m. Sunday morning. While the sleepy thousands in the audience waited, a message on the jumbotrons told them West’s show would be delayed until 3:15 a.m., and when that didn’t happen, that he would start at 3:30. West didn’t hit the stage until 4:25 a.m.
The delay was caused by problems setting up West’s elaborate stage set, which included an interplanetary landscape of a wavy black platform with a slanted floor in the middle and a video screen above. West performed a spectacular galactic-themed concert complete with interaction with his spaceship, a disembodied female voice named Jane (a kind of sexier HAL).
Ken Weinstein, a spokesman for the annual festival held on a 700-acre site south of Nashville, said the delay was simply a matter of unloading the Pearl Jam stage (the band went an hour past its scheduled end time, playing until about 1:15 a.m.) and loading the West stage.
The festival, which boasted more than 150 acts spread out over four days, was otherwise very punctual. The West delay was all the worse because of its already very late schedule, and many campers lost energy before the concert and returned to their sleeping bags. Midway through his performance, the morning light showed that the crowd had dwindled substantially.
West had originally been slated to perform at 8:15 p.m. Saturday night, but requested a late night performance. At least in the first hour of his performance, West didn’t address the crowd regarding the delay.
Later Sunday, the Bonnaroo crowd was still upset. Pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph criticized West for disappointing his fans. His comments inspired a “Kanye sucks” chant.
A spokesperson for West didn’t immediately return a request for comment.