After M.I.A. was announced as the headliner for the inaugural edition of Afropunk London, the festival faced some backlash for choosing a performer who recently went on record criticizing aspects of the Black Lives Matter movement for an event that’s meant to highlight alternative black music.
Last month, M.I.A. tweeted that “If pulling the show saves the cause and lives then that’s what I’ll do,” and it appears that both the artist and festival organizers have come to the conclusion that M.I.A. should not perform at Afropunk London. A new statement released today says: “After discussing the situation with the artist and the community, a decision was agreed upon by all involved that M.I.A will no longer headline AFROPUNK London.”
Afropunk will announce a new headliner and additional performers next Tuesday (7/19). Read the festival’s statement in full below.
AFROPUNK has always stood side by side with the thousands of people globally who are involved with our events each year, from the fans attending an AFROPUNK showcase for the first time, to the headline artists playing for capacity crowds on our main festival stages.
A key part of the AFROPUNK ethos has always been educating one another, breaking down boundaries and sparking conversation about race, gender, religion, sex, culture and everything that makes life worth living. This exchange has meant receiving wisdom, as well as imparting it in the most respectful way possible, with the participation of our entire community of fans, creators and artists. This community is something we are incredibly proud of, and this community will always be a priority for us.
We are excited and honored to do our first AFROPUNK Festival in London and want to do it right. After discussing the situation with the artist and the community, a decision was agreed upon by all involved that M.I.A will no longer headline AFROPUNK London.
AFROPUNK will be releasing a new headliner and the second wave of artists on July 19th.
Afropunk London will take place on 9/24 at Alexandra Palace.