US hip hop star Kanye West blamed rain at the Gold Coast edition of Big Day Out Festival in Australia for a 45 minute delay in getting on stage.
The rapper was due to take the stage at 8.30pm but a PA announcement made clear to the audience intermittent rain had caused difficulties and a delay.
According to source in an CourierMail article the reason for the delay was not the rain but Kanye West‘s refusal to share the limelight with skateboarding legend Tony Hawk.
Hawk and skating colleagues had been booked to do a skate show on a vertical ramp at 6.30pm but in treacherous conditions delayed the showcase for a couple of hours, and in doing so defied calls from Kanye West to cancel it so he would have exclusive attention of the audience.
According to the same CourierMail report, when he did finally start: “punters were struck by the volume of his show, essentially the same as his Splendour in the Grass set, but quickly started wandering off in favour of undercover shows by Nero and Noel Gallagher.”
The rapper also managed to upset touring partners and fellow headliners Soundgarden by sound checking during their set. Lead singer Chris Cornell reportedly telling the crowd: “Sounds like there’s children playing music there, retarded children, retarded as in held back. There’s no other word for it.“
Big Day Out Organiser Ken West defended West in a blog post: “Stop picking on Kanye the technical problems that delayed his start time by 45 minutes were from rain damaging our equipment…The fact that he had the biggest crowd of the day and delivered an incredible performance with the huge crowd staying to the end of set even though it was 45 minutes later than scheduled is a testament to what a great artist he is. The next shows will be amazing. Miss them at your peril.“
West is only playing three of the six Big Day Out festivals after organisers scaled back shows in Auckland, Adelaide and Perth.