For many Laneway punters, seeing Atlanta rapper Young Thug disappear from this month’s summer festival circuit was a real kick in the teeth, and the dreaded ‘visa issues’ were of course to blame.
As it turns out that may not actually be the case, instead being the result of a last-minute executive decision on the part of the festival organisers themselves to cut their losses and pull him from the bill themselves – the first time they’ve ever been forced to drop an artist.
Festival organiser Danny Rogers and A&R Dom O’Connor placed themselves in the Reddit firing line earlier today for an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session and, of course, the topic of Young Thug’s disappearance from the lineup was raised pretty swiftly.
“Did you really expect Young Thug to show up?” asked Reddit user itainteezy, to which Danny quite assertively replied “Yes we did”, before going on to explain their decision to pull the rapper from the lineup at the last minute.
Danny points out that, although management were doing their best to get the visa process sorted as quickly as possible, Young Thug was causing timelines to be pushed back. “We started to realise we may be working with an artist that might be somewhat unreliable,” Danny explains, putting it quite softly indeed.
“It’s the first time in 13 years that we’ve had to pull an artist so it wasn’t treated lightly,” he adds, claiming it was simply “the most practical outcome” for everyone at that point.
As Danny also pointed out, the festival immediately offered refunds, but apparently they weren’t taken up on the offer by many – the strength of the another great lineup probably saw to that. They swiftly added Dune Rats to fill the void, and the show rolled on.
The rest of the AMA revealed some interesting insights, from the nicest guys they’ve encountered (sweethearts Parquet Courts nab that honour according to Dom), to the weirdest rider (Mac DeMarco’s request for a Macca’s Filet O Fish in lieu of meal tickets), but there was also serious discussion to be had.
A question about drug dogs and pill testing went sadly unanswered, but they were happy to expand on their ban on wearing the Australian flag as a cape at tomorrow’s Brisbane leg, which falls on January 26 this year.
Like much of the music community, the organisers want to see Australia Day moved from January 26, and wanted to ensure the flag-as-clothing trend didn’t make its way onto the festival grounds tomorrow.
It’s an interesting read for anyone after some behind the scenes goss, so give it a look over at Reddit.
Feature image via Young Thug’s FacebookWrite a Letter to the Editor