Kanye West and Bonnaroo have settled their differences and are getting back together. Six years after West's heavily criticized show at Bonnaroo — after which West called the festival-planners "F---ING IDIOTS" and "BRAIN SQUIDS" — he'll get another chance to impress the Tennessee crowds.
At 2008's festival, West arrived on stage at 4:30 a.m., almost two hours later than the performance was scheduled to start. As the delay grew longer and longer, "the crowd grew increasingly restless, eventually erupting into full-on boos just before he hit the stage," Rolling Stone wrote then. West's underwhelming performance didn't make up for the delay, and chants of "F--- Kanye" and "Kanye sucks" reverberated around the festival the entire weekend. You can see Kanye lying on his back in the video from the show below; it doesn't look like too appealing of a performance.
Though Bonnaroo crowds blamed the hip hop star for the tumultuous show, West took to his personal blog to lambast the festival show-runners, who took too long to set up his massive stage production light show. "But this Bonnaroo thing is the worst insult I’ve ever had in my life. This is the most offended I’ve ever been… this is the maddest I ever will be," he wrote.
The reason his show was so tame, he explained, was that concert-goers had thrown water bottles on stage and made the set dangerous for too much movement. He then went into all-caps and excessive exclamation marks mode.
"WE WERE OBVIOUSLY DEALING WITH FUCKING IDIOTS WHO DIDN’T REALLY HAVE THE CAPACITY TO REALLY PUT ON THIS SHOW PROPERLY. THEY TRIED 2 GIVE ME A TIME SLOT WERE IT WAS STILL LIGHT OUTSIDE … I HAVE A FUCKING LIGHT SHOW DUMB ASS, IT’S NOT CALLED GLOW IN THE DARK FOR NO REASON SQUID BRAINS!"
Time heals all wounds, though, and Kanye and the squid brains at Bonnaroo have put their differences behind them. “Everyone has moved on—it’s in the past,” festival promoter Rick Farman told Relix. "It goes back to what Bonnaroo stands for: It’s about having good time, radiating positivity and that whole message."
And anyway, music fans should have a bevy of other options for good shows. Elton John, Jack White, and Vampire Weekend will also perform at the June festival. But as is his wont, Kanye is sure to get the most press for his return to the scene of the crime.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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