Marking the end to what has been considered a disastrous start to Chastain Park Amphitheatre’s 2016 Delta Live Nation Concert series, singer Lauryn Hill, notorious for showing up late for her own concerts, didn’t make it any better when she upset Atlanta fans for last night’s performance. The singer showed up over 2 hours late for her set and took the mic around 10:20 PM. By that time, many people had already left as Hill’s DJ tried his best to maintain the crowd in the interim by playing Prince songs and asking the crowd to sing along. It worked for a while but the crowd wanted what they came for.
When Hill finally did arrive she failed to acknowledge her tardiness instead commenting on how “nice” the venue is. This set the crowd off to boos. Hill did manage to get a 40 minute show in which was greatly appreciated by fans and considered a stellar performance which served to be more frustrating because fans wanted more. Hill stated that her driver got lost and she could not control that to a disgruntled fan who explained his dismay while shaking her hand.
Chastain has a very strict policy about turning the mic off at 11pm and that’s exactly what took place as Lauryn continued singing but nobody could hear her and the crowd booed again. She finally gave up, took a few pictures and the show was over.
She offered her apology on social networks.
I don’t show up late to shows because I don’t care. And I have nothing but Love and respect for my fans. The challenge is aligning my energy with the time, taking something that isn’t easily classified or contained, and trying to make it available for others. I don’t have an on/off switch. I am at my best when I am open, rested, sensitive and liberated to express myself as truthfully as possible. For every performance that I’ve arrived to late, there have been countless others where I’ve performed in excess of two hours, beyond what I am contracted to do, pouring everything out on the stage.
Because I care so deeply about the artistic process, I scrutinize, have perfectionist tendencies, and want space made for spontaneity, which is not an easy process, with the many moving parts on the road. Some days we are more successful than others re time. However, the vitality that is infused into the performances is always appreciated by the audiences, who may not know exactly what it took to accomplish. What hasn’t been touched upon by the media, I’m sure, are the hundreds of people who rushed the stage and stayed in excess of an hour after the show ended last night, just to connect.
Our challenge is to figure out the best way to accommodate the vitality, spontaneity, and spirit that make the performances worthwhile and special to begin with, while also making that experience available and accessible to others. If I didn’t Love and respect the art, I wouldn’t be doing this. The audience and I should have that in common.
My true audience knows emphatically that I care. It isn’t possible to affect people in any deep and meaningful way without putting sacrificial time in.
I have nothing but Love and appreciation for the fans in Atlanta, and regret not being able to give you a full show. We are figuring out a plan to make it up to you, and will announce details as soon as we have them.