Solange's withdrawal from Afropunk raises Twitter's ire

2017-12-28 06:48
Solange (Photo: City Press)

Cape Town –  Afropunk ticket-holders took to Twitter on Wednesday to express their disappointment with organisers after American pop-icon Solange Knowles announced she will no longer be performing at the festival.  

In a lengthy Instagram post, Knowles said she made the decision to cancel the trip "as part of the self-care" and confirmed that she's been battling Autonomic Disorder this past year. 

Autonomic Disorder is a condition in which the autonomic nervous system (ANS) does not work properly, which can affect the heart, bladder, intestines, sweat glands, pupils, and blood vessels.

"It’s a complicated diagnosis, and I’m still learning so much myself, but right now, my doctors are not clearing me for such an extended lengthy flight, and doing a rigorous show right after," Knowles wrote. 

Wrote, deleted and re wrote this like 5 times... Still not sure what exactly or how much I want to share... However it’s so important to me for the people in South Africa, a place that has tremendous meaning to me and that has given me SO SO MUCH, to know why I won’t be performing at Afro Punk this NYE. The past five months I have been quietly treating, and working through an Autonomic Disorder. It been a journey that hasn’t been easy on me... Sometimes I feel cool, and other times not so cool at all. It’s a complicated diagnoses , and I’m still learning so much myself, but right now, my doctors are not clearing me for such an extended lengthy flight, and doing a rigorous show right after. I can’t put into words how saddened and sorry I am that I am unable to perform for you guys this NYE, there is simply no other place I wanted to be than there with my family to bring in 2018 with you.......but I give you my ABSOLUTE WORD I will come back with AfroPunk and deliver this it is so extremely important to me to connect with the people who have so closely inspired me in so many ways. I can’t thank Afro Punk enough for their support, and to all of the other festivals this past summer/fall who have known about my health, kept it confidential, and gone out of their way to make me feel supported while doing these shows. As a part of the self care that I’ve tried to encourage this past year, it needs to start with myself, and I’m looking forward to doing a better job of this 2018. This past year has been one of the most fulfilling of my life... Performing this record and experiencing the energy exchange with you guys has been astounding, and I’m so excited about continuing to do the work I feel so absolutely humbled and appreciative to be doing next year. It gives me life.

A post shared by Solange (@saintrecords) on

It was unexpected:

While most Twitter-users expressed sympathy towards Knowles, others expressed anger with Afropunk who they say kept promoting Knowles despite supposedly knowing of her impending cancellation.

Afropunk has since released a statement saying: "It is with great concern that Afropunk received today the sudden news of Solange’s severe health struggles. We would like to thank Solange for her ongoing support, and for sharing this year with us at Afropunk festivals around the world. It is incredibly important to those of us at Afropunk that she recovers and remains in good health."

They added: "Her music and spirit has been a place of great comfort and inspiration to us as a community. And of course we are incredibly saddened that she will no longer be performing at the inaugural Afropunk Joburg this weekend."

Afropunk co-founder Matthew Morgan said that despite the unexpected bad news the festival will go ahead as planned. 

Twitter reactions:

@NandiJkj wrote: "I'm angry at @afropunk! I'm sad for Solange because she's unwell but you guys carried on promoting like you didn't know. You haven't even released a statement."

@obvszee agreed saying: " I’m pissed actually. Obviously it’s not Solange’s fault but you’re telling me Afropunk didn’t know till NOW?? I’m not buying that bullshit."

"2017 had to pull one more "F***k you" at the last minute and take away Solange. Just to make us a Popeye one more time for consistency," @PalesaMaloisane said. 

@palesakgasane said ticket holders have a right to be angry. 

"Everyone saying "Solange's health comes first and you guys shouldn't be upset", please get off your high horses because this is sudden and people are allowed to be disappointed," she said. 

According to their Facebook page, Afropunk is a "cultural movement celebrating the creativity and freedom of spirit in alternative Black culture". 

In 2005, the very first annual AfroPunk Festival debuted to wildly enthusiastic crowds at the iconic Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM).

This year marks the first Afropunk event in Africa, and includes performances King Tha vs Blk Jks, Laura Mvula, The Brother Moves On, Petite Noir, Nakhane, Urban Village, Nonku Phiri and Radio 123!. 

Afropunk Johannesburg is set to take place on 30 and 31 December 2017 at Constitution Hill. 

Read more on:    solange knowles  |  music

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