Die Antwoord Dropped From Another Festival After Artists Speak Out
Controversial South African shock-rap group Die Antwoord have been dropped from the UK festival ALT+LDN after a backlash from other artists on the lineup, Kerrang reports. “Die Antwoord are no longer appearing at ALT + LDN, by mutual agreement,” reads a statement from the London fest’s organizers, shared alongside a new poster for the event with Die Antwoord removed from the bill.
ZAND is among the artists who spoke out. “As grateful as I am for this insane opportunity and to be playing amongst a line-up packed with so many talented and iconic artists, it must be said. I do not feel comfortable at all with a certain band playing this festival due to their long history of abuse,” they wrote on Instagram. “Having a safe space for victims and all people should be a priority to all of us and in this instance because it is not, I will not allow my stance on this to come off as complacent by not addressing what needs to be addressed. Every other artist on this bill: let’s get it.”
“So, some of you may know we are scheduled to play at a festival called ALT+LDN this summer, and on that same festival is a group called Die Antwoord,” Bob Vylan frontman Bobby Vylan added in a video posted to social media. “Now, I’m not extremely familiar with their music, but that’s neither here nor there, because I am familiar and I’m becoming more familiar with their history of abuse towards young people, towards vulnerable people, towards gay people, and people of colour.”
“Now, needless to say, I’m not fucking thrilled that this band is on the same festival as us; I’m less thrilled that they’re on the same fucking stage as us,” he continued. “But, of course, I have no say over who gets booked for this festival, so looking for things that I can do is becoming challenging. Now, what I can do is ask publicly for ALT+LDN to remove Die Antwoord from this festival, and from this line-up, which is what I’m doing here, now.”
“Thank you ZAND for making me more aware of their history of abuse, which I’m learning more and more on — unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be an end to it,” he concluded. “But I’m publicly asking for ALT+LDN to remove Die Antwoord from the bill, and if not, I and other acts I’m sure will protest their presence with our presence, and make it extremely fucking uncomfortable for them to be there, I can guarantee that. Peace.”
In 2019, Die Antwoord were removed from several festivals following an altercation in which they were filmed shouting homophobic slurs at Andy Butler of Hercules And Love Affair. In response, Ninja of Die Antwoord said that the video had been “cleverly edited” to “make it seem like me and Yolandi committed a hate crime towards a person because they are gay … This was just a fight with someone who fucked with us.”
Ninja has also been accused of sexual assault by several women. Australian musician Zheani Sparkes filed a police report in 2019, claiming that the rapper sexually assaulted her in 2013 and shared sexually explicit photos of her as revenge porn. Singer Dionna Dal Monte also came forward, saying that Ninja assaulted her in 2014. Ninja denied all the allegations, describing them as “wild and unsubstantiated stories from people who have an obvious agenda and animus against me.”