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Ye, Ty Dolla $ign cancel arena listening gigs

American rap duo ¥$, consisting of Ye (formerly Kanye West) and Ty Dolla $ign, have quietly cancelled their next series of US arena listening sessions for their collaborative project, VULTURES.

The six shows, announced last week, were set to take place between 7-15 April. The East Coast run of listening parties included Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena (20,000-capacity), Pittsburgh’s PPG Paints Arena (19,758-cap), Washington D.C.’s Capital One Arena (20,356-cap), Charlotte’s Spectrum Center (17,500-cap) Tampa’s Amalie Arena (21,500-cap), and Fort Lauderdale’s Amerant Bank Arena (20,000-cap).

“We regret to report that due to the time constraints for Ye and Ty Dolla $ign to curate production and meet logistic requirements, the upcoming dates for the VULTURES 1&2 listening experience will need to be revisited at a later date,” said both Amalie Arena and Amerant Bank Arena in public statements.

The duo have not publicly acknowledged the cancellations, with Ye deactivating his Instagram account over the weekend.

“It’s still better than other people’s shows that have a mic”

The listening party cancellations come after the duo delayed the second instalment of their three-part VULTURES series. Announced earlier this year, the three-part collaborative series was set to be released in February, March, and April, respectively. VULTURES 1 was released on 9 February to commercial acclaim, but no updates or timelines have been provided for the second and third instalments.

Alongside the release of VULTURES 1, multiple “hi-fidelity audio experience” gigs were announced and held in quick succession in February. These included three back-to-back gigs in the US, at Chicago’s United Center (23,500-cap), New York’s UBS Center (19,000-cap), and at an unnamed tent on the Las Vegas Strip, and three shows in Europe.

The European late-February listening experiences took place at Italy’s Mediolanum Forum (15,800-cap) and Unipol Arena (20,000), plus Paris’s Accor Arena (20,300). In October 2023, the duo had reportedly planned a joint concert at RCF Arena (100,000-cap) in Reggio Emilia, Italy, which was ultimately scrapped.

Two additional gigs were held in early March after the initial VULTURES 2 release date at Arizona’s Footprint Center (18,422-cap) and San Francisco’s Chase Center (18,064-cap). The pair went on to headline California’s Rolling Loud festival, where they played pre-recorded music without performing.

“It’s still better than other people’s shows that have a mic,” said Ty Dolla $ign following the Rolling Loud performance.

 


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Kanye West comeback concert cancelled

Kanye West’s comeback concert in Italy has been cancelled before it was officially announced.

The US rapper was reportedly set to perform a secret show at the 100,000-cap RCF Arena, aka Campovolo, in Reggio Emilia, near Bologna, tomorrow (27 October), promoted by Milan-based Vivo Concerti.

It was rumoured the gig, which was originally planned for 20 October, would serve as the global premiere of West’s upcoming joint album with Ty Dolla $ign. Local prefect Maria Rita Cocciufa says the event was cancelled for “safety reasons”.

“We had no option but to cancel the event,” says Cocciufa. “These things take a lot of organising: you need to have a health plan, a traffic plan and some idea of how tickets are being sold and the number of people.

“You have to have all these things in place because you have to guarantee the safety and security of the people attending. As a city, we were ready, but we just hadn’t heard anything from the organisers so for safety reasons it had to be cancelled – the concert was due to take place Friday and on Monday we had still heard nothing.”

The Daily Mail reports that a set had been built on the site earlier this month, but was now being dismantled and a convoy of trucks was seen leaving the area.

“We did what we had to do, our part was ready for the 20th – from the parking lots, to the internal staff, to the area itself”

Davide Caiti, partner of arena owner C.Volo, suggests the 46-year-old’s American production team were to blame for the show not going ahead.

“We did what we had to do, our part was ready for the 20th – from the parking lots, to the internal staff, to the area itself,” Caiti tells Il Resto del Carlino.” We were also waiting for the official announcement to continue operations. [West’s team] can say that nothing was ever officially announced, but it’s a bit of hiding behind a finger, because the request had arrived.”

The planned concert had attracted anger from local groups given West’s past antisemitic comments and other controversies, which prompted Creative Artists Agency (CAA) to cut ties with the rapper last year. However, Caiti denies the threat of protests was a factor in the cancellation.

“Faced with an event of that magnitude and a business like that, production would certainly not have stopped due to four local controversies,” he says. “If they [cite] that, it will just be an excuse… Maybe next time, we’ll get some more guarantees.”

West made his first live appearance since the furore in Italy over the summer when he joined Travis Scott on stage at Rome’s 60,000-cap Circus Maximus to perform Scott’s Praise God and Can’t Tell Me Nothing in August.

The arena, which hosted Harry Styles in July, currently has four concerts scheduled for next year, including an already announced Rammstein show.

 


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Dozens fall ill during Travis Scott’s Rome concert

Dozens of fans required medical attention following a suspected pepper spray incident during a Travis Scott concert in Italy.

Police are investigating after around 60 people received treatment for eye and throat irritation at the rapper’s show at Rome’s 60,000-cap Circus Maximus on Monday (7 August).

Ansa sources indicate that the use of pepper spray by an audience member may have been to blame, while Euronews reports a 14-year-old was also hospitalised after falling from a height, having attempted to elude security to enter the venue.

The show, which saw the live premiere of Scott’s new album Utopia, came less than two weeks after the last minute cancellation of his scheduled concert in front of the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. The American star was joined by surprise guest Kanye West – making his first appearance since posting antisemitic slurs online last year – at the Rome gig to perform the latter’s songs Praise God and Can’t Tell Me Nothing.

“The Circus Maximus is a monument. It is not a stadium, not a concert hall. These mega rock concerts put it at risk”

Meanwhile, CNN reports that the director of Rome’s Colosseum has called for an end to concerts at Circus Maximus after the tens of thousands of fans jumping in unison at Scott’s gig sparked fears of an earthquake.

The 32-year-old became the latest act to play the ancient site, which is close to the Colosseum, following shows by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and Imagine Dragons earlier this summer. The venue has hosted the likes of the Rolling Stones, Lady Gaga, Maneskin and David Gilmour in previous years.

“The Circus Maximus is a monument. It is not a stadium, not a concert hall,” Alfonsina Russo, director of the head of the Colosseum Archeological Park, tells Italian news service AGI. “These mega rock concerts put it at risk… Rock concerts should be held in stadiums so as not to endanger public safety.”

Houston police published its full report on the 2021 Astroworld tragedy, in which 10 concertgoers died during Scott’s headline set, last month.

 


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CAA cuts ties with Kanye West after antisemitic slurs

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) no longer represents longtime client Kanye West, a representative of the company this week told The New York Times.

The agency has represented West for touring since 2016, during which time he has not been on tour.

The move comes after the US rapper this month posted antisemitic slurs on social media and wore a shirt with a slogan associated with white supremacists.

His remarks prompted an antisemitic and white supremacist group to unfurl a large banner above a Los Angeles overpass, which read “Kanye is right about the Jews,” over the weekend.

The music industry has subsequently begun to distance itself from the rapper, with executives including UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer and Endeavor’s Ari Emanuel encouraging the boycott of West.

West and his G.O.O.D. Music imprint are no longer a part of Def Jam Recordings

Per The Times article, West (now known as Ye) and his G.O.O.D. Music imprint are no longer a part of Def Jam Recordings. Ye’s artist contract with the label expired following the release of 2021’s Donda, although it’s unclear if he was expected to continue the partnership with his longtime label home prior to his recent anti-Semitic outbursts.

The 45-year-old rapper had already burned bridges in the industry when he pulled out of headlining this year’s Coachella just over a week before it was due to start.

He was also disinvited from performing at the Grammy Awards last spring after erratic behaviour and, in July this year, LA-based production company Phantom Labs sued West, for allegedly owing $7.1 million for unpaid work.

The fashion world is also beginning to cut ties with West, with Balenciaga confirming last week that it “no longer has any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist”.

Also, today (25 October), Adidas released a statement announcing it has officially ended its partnership with the rapper.

“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech,” it reads. “Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”

 


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UTA CEO asks agents to support boycott of Kanye

UTA CEO and co-founder Jeremy Zimmer has issued a company-wide memo asking agents to “support the boycott of Kanye West,” according to Variety.

The 23 October memo, titled Rise of Anti-Semitism and Hate, follows an antisemitic rally in Los Angeles on the weekend, sparked by the rapper.

“As a company, we stand for a wide diversity of voices and ideas; But we can’t support hate speech, bigotry or anti-semitism,” Zimmer wrote. “Please support the boycott of Kanye West. Powerful voices spewing hatred have frequently driven people to do hateful things.”

On Saturday (22 October), Antisemites took to a Los Angeles freeway overpass to express their support of the rapper, who posted anti-Jewish slurs on social media. Also on Sunday, fliers were reportedly distributed around Brentwood identifying entertainment executives as “Jewish”.

“I’m saddened to write that once again we’re seeing a surge in anti-Semitism in our communities, fueled by Kanye’s comments and a resulting in an incident in Los Angeles yesterday where hateful banners were placed over the 405 freeway,” wrote Zimmer.

“Regrettably, anti-Semitism, racism and many forms of hate and intolerance are part of the fabric of society. Generally, they live as a plague eroding the health of communities and are combatted by understanding, tolerance and the general goodness of most people.

“But throughout history some have used their public platform to spew the plague out loud and spread the contagion to dangerous effect. Kanye is the latest to do so, and we’re seeing how his words embolden others to amplify their vile beliefs. I’ve also seen copies of horribly anti-Semitic flyers left this weekend on the doorsteps of homes in LA neighborhoods, showing that the 405 banners are not the end of it.

“Those who continue to do business with West are giving his misguided hate an audience”

“Equally worrying is what is happening on college campuses, where concern and debate about Zionism becomes veiled anti-Semitism. Wellesley College recently has been at the epicenter of this dilemma. The Wellesley newspaper recently supported a mapping project showing the nearby Jewish owned businesses, and suggesting that they be boycotted. The assumption being that because they are owned by Jews, they must be anti-Palestine. This is the kind of dangerous thinking that can lead to inflaming anti-Semitism and hate, and there have been examples of it at other schools.

“Whether it’s signs on the 405 in Los Angeles, flyers on doorsteps, mapping Jewish businesses in Boston, or marching with hoods and crosses, all of these behaviors ignite the embers of bigotry, and they must not be tolerated.

“As a company we stand for a wide diversity of voices and ideas. But we can’t support hate speech, bigotry or anti-semitism. Please support the boycott of Kanye West. Powerful voices spewing hatred have frequently driven people to do hateful things. Let’s not be lulled into thinking this time it’s different,” he concludes.

Elsewhere, Ari Emanuel, CEO of WME parent company Endeavor, recently penned an op-ed for the Financial Times calling on West’s business partners – such as Apple, Spotify, Adidas and his touring partners – to stop working with him.

“West is not just any person — he is a pop culture icon with millions of fans around the world,” Emanuel wrote. “And among them are young people whose views are still being formed. This is why it is necessary for all of us to speak out. Hatred and anti-Semitism should have no place in our society, no matter how much money is at stake.”

“Those who continue to do business with West are giving his misguided hate an audience,” Emanuel added. “There should be no tolerance anywhere for West’s anti-Semitism. This is a moment in history where the stakes are high and being open about our values, and living them, is essential. Silence and inaction are not an option.”

 


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Kanye West cancels Rolling Loud Miami headline set

Kanye West has cancelled his Rolling Loud Miami headline set just days before it was due to have taken place.

The rapper, aka Ye, was scheduled to top the bill on the hip-hop festival’s opening night this Friday (22 July). He will be replaced by Kid Cudi, Future and Kendrick Lamar will also headline the 22-24 July event at Hard Rock Stadium.

West also pulled out of headlining Coachella 2022 at two weeks’ notice earlier this year.

“We were looking forward to Ye headlining Rolling Loud Miami 2022,” says a statement by Rolling Loud co-founders Tariq Cherif and Matt Zingler. “We spent months working with him and his team on the performance. Unfortunately, Ye has decided that he will no longer be performing.

“This is the first time a headliner has ever pulled off our show and though we don’t take it lightly, we wish him the best. We look forward to welcoming Kid Cudi as a headliner in Miami and we can’t wait to see what he has in store.”

Last week it was revealed West is being sued by LA-based production company Phantom Labs, which is allegedly owed $7.1 million by the 45-year-old for unpaid work between June 2021 and March 2022.

Rolling Loud made its European debut in Portugal earlier this month

The world’s biggest hip-hop festival, Rolling Loud made its European debut in Portugal earlier this month. Headlined by J Cole, A$AP Rocky and Future, the Live Nation-backed event was held on Praia Da Rocha Beach, Portimão, in the Algarve. The Portuguese spin-off was originally set for the summer of 2020 before being called off due to the pandemic.

Founded in 2015 , Rolling Loud has previously expanded from its flagship Miami festival to launch in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and New York, as well as Sydney, Australia. A proposed Hong Kong spin-off was cancelled in 2019.

The brand also joined forces with the Netherlands’ Woo Hah! hip-hop festival to launch Woo Hah! x Rolling Loud at Beekse Bergen in Hilvarenbeek. Held from 1-3 July, acts included J Cole, Future, Dave and Roddy Ricch.

In addition, Rolling Loud is expanding to Canada for the first time with headliners Dave, Future and Wizkid at Ontario Place, Toronto from 9-11 September. Its New York edition, meanwhile, is lined up for Queens Citi Field from 23-25 September, headed by Nicki Minaj, A$AP Rocky and Future.

 


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Kanye West sued over alleged $7.1m unpaid fees

Kanye West is being sued by a production company which is allegedly owed $7.1 million by the rapper for unpaid work.

TMZ reports that LA-based Phantom Labs worked with West, aka Ye, on “multiple large-scale projects” between June 2021 and March 2022.

“Despite receiving multiple demand letters from Phantom, defendants continue inexplicably to withhold payment,” states the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County’s Superior Court, which names West as a defendant alongside several of his companies listed as “the Yeezy defendants”.

Variety notes that the company was paid for some of its work in the early stage of its relationship with West, but indicate that those payments arrived only under pressure.

West allegedly promised to settle his debt using the $9m he would reportedly receive for his scheduled Coachella headline set, but ultimately cancelled his performance two weeks before it was due to take place.

“We are incredibly proud of the work that we did with Ye and are disappointed that such a fruitful relationship has come to this”

“Of the approximately $7,154,177.67 owed, defendants have not paid Phantom one cent, despite repeated requests for payment and providing defendants detailed back-up,” it adds. “To the contrary, upon information and belief, since receiving this information, defendants and their representatives have circumvented Phantom, and attempted to pay directly certain of Phantom’s vendors and merchants that defendants want to work with in the future.”

The claim includes $1.1m in Coachella-related cancellation fees

“We are incredibly proud of the work that we did with Ye and are disappointed that such a fruitful relationship has come to this,” a spokesperson for Phantom Labs says in a statement to Variety. “A celebrity weaponising fame and reputation to take advantage of eager collaborators is simply unacceptable.”

West is yet to respond to the lawsuit.


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Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, Ye to headline Coachella ’22

Coachella Valley Arts & Music Festival organisers have announced the full line-up for the upcoming 2022 edition.

Harry Styles, Billie Eilish and Ye (aka Kanye West) are to headline the festival’s first in-person event since 2019, which will run across two weekends (15–17 and 22–24 April) at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California.

Styles’ headline set will mark his debut Coachella performance, while Eilish’s will qualify her as the youngest-ever headliner at Coachella, following a seminal performance at the festival back in 2019.

Travis Scott was reportedly set to top the bill but was allegedly removed following the crowd crush tragedy at his Astroworld event last year.

Other artists billed for the Goldenvoice-promoted festival are Swedish House Mafia, Flume, Megan Thee Stallion, Disclosure, 21 Savage, Phoebe Bridgers, Doja Cat, Joji, Jamie xx and Run the Jewels.

Danny Elfman, Carly Rae Jepsen, Big Sean, Idles, Spiritualized, Stromae, Brockhampton, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Caribou, Caroline Polachek, Vince Staples, Ari Lennox and Kim Petras are also slated to perform.

Travis Scott was reportedly set to top the bill but was allegedly removed following the tragedy at his Astroworld event

According to today’s announcement, the 2022 edition will also include a collaboration with 88rising, a US-based artist management company, record label and media brand focused on east Asian artists.

The poster references the label’s annual LA-based music festival, Head in the Clouds. No further details have been revealed yet.

Coachella had its 2020 festival postponed twice due to the pandemic. It was rescheduled to April 2021, but postponed once again in January of that year, when the public health officer in charge of Riverside County, where the festival is held, signed a public health order cancelling Coachella and its sister festival, the country music event Stagecoach.

News emerged last October that Goldenvoice had signed a long-term agreement with the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, which will enable the promoter to stage additional festivals on the site.

Goldenvoice is one of the world’s biggest promoters; the company produces several festivals, including recently announced California Vibrations, operates 14 mid-sized venues and promotes over 1,800 shows per year.

 


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Kanye West sets new livestream record on Apple Music

Kanye West’s second album listening party at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium (cap. 71,000) in Atlanta last Thursday (5 August) was reportedly Apple Music’s biggest-ever live stream.

The live stream of West previewing his upcoming album ‘Donda’ attracted 5.4 million viewers on Apple Music – more than double the current livestream record on Twitch – which set a new record for the streaming service, according to Billboard.

The previous record was set by West’s first listening event at the stadium on 22 July, which saw 3.3 million people tune in.

West also livestreamed from a dressing room at the stadium ahead of the show, with fans able to watch him recording, exercising and sleeping for a number of hours.

Billboard also cites sources who claim that West made $7 million (€5.9m) from in-person merch sales during the second ‘Donda’ event, which recorded 40,000 ticketed fans in attendance.

West made $7 million (€5.9m) from in-person merch sales during the second ‘Donda’ event

Of the 400,000 fans, a stadium rep told Billboard that four people got a vaccine shot offered by the event that evening.

The event provided Pfizer shots for those who haven’t already taken the shot to help slow the transmission of Covid-19 but very few took up the offer – despite the venue promoting its efforts.

The event’s push for fans to get vaccinated comes as Live Nation and AEG, the world’s biggest live entertainment companies, have announced various vaccine mandates.

Live Nation announced that artists would be given the choice as to whether they require all concertgoers and venue staff to be vaccinated for their US shows, and it is understood a similar model will likely be rolled out internationally.

While AEG Presents, AEG’s concert promotion division, will additionally require all fans in the US to be vaccinated from 1 October.

 


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Kanye, Bieber, Will Smith perform at Coachella

The second and final weekend of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival came to a close on Sunday 21 April, with Kanye West hosting an Easter “Sunday Service” and Justin Bieber making a return to the stage after a lengthy hiatus.

The 2019 edition of Goldenvoice’s Coachella (125,000-cap.) has now come to an end, following two consecutive weekends of live music and surprise appearances in the Californian desert.

Kanye West hosted a performance on the closing Sunday of the event as part of his series of Sunday Service performances – invite-only sessions in which the rapper performs alongside a gospel choir in secret locations.

Chance the Rapper, Kid Cudi and DMX joined West for the performance atop a hill, some miles away from the main festival site.

Another surprise performance came in the form of Justin Bieber, who joined Ariana Grande on stage for a rendition of his 2015 single ‘Sorry’. The Canadian singer also used the performance to hint at the release of a new album.

The 2019 edition of Coachella has come to an end, following two weekends of live music and surprise appearances in the Californian desert

Will Smith also appeared on the Coachella stage, joining his son Jaden Smith for a performance of the rapper’s song ‘Icon’.

Weekend one of the festival saw Grande break records as Coachella’s youngest-ever headliner, Childish Gambino pay tribute to Mac Miller, the debut of a state-of-the-art augmented reality experience and the introduction of Amazon lockers to the festival.

California’s Empire Polo Club has hosted Coachella since its inaugural edition which took place over two days in 1999. The festival later added its second weekend in 2012.

A 2018 lawsuit filed against Coachella’s radius clause, which forbids acts from playing other North American festivals for five months around the festival, was dismissed last month.

The dates for next year’s Coachella are yet to be announced.