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Stormzy pulls out of Snowbombing festival over weapons search

Stormzy on stage Image copyright Getty Images

Stormzy's cancelled his gig at Snowbombing festival in Austria after claiming members of his team had been racially profiled.

He was expected to perform on Thursday night, but organisers announced he would no longer be appearing.

In an Instagram story the rapper claimed his team were targeted while security were looking for a weapon.

Organisers of the gig said they were sad that he had cancelled and that they had acted in accordance to protocol.

Image copyright Stormzy/Instagram
Image caption Stormzy explained on his Instagram story why he pulled out of the gig

The grime artist told his fans he had to cancel the gig to make a point about racism and racial profiling.

He accused the security team of being aggressive while searching some of his team.

"My manager and all my friends who were at the festival were racially profiled, targeted and aggressively handled because they had reason to believe someone was carrying a weapon."

He added: "The security targeted them (despite no one fitting the description), were physically aggressive when handling them and there's been no effort from the festival to actually deal and address the problem."

The festival confirmed to Radio 1 Newsbeat that his team were not escorted off the premises and Stormzy was not on-site at the time of the incident.

In a statement on its website the festival said they were alerted to a possible security threat that an individual might have been carrying a weapon.

Organisers explain that: "A small number of attendees, including Stormzy's manager were escorted to the nearest exit, searched and no weapon was found."

The festival apologised to Stormzy and his team and added: "We are doing everything we can to understand the full situation and are treating this with the utmost seriousness to ensure this does not happen again."

'Got to stand by his beliefs'

People at the festival were only told about the cancellation a few hours before Stormzy was due to perform, via an app that cost attendees £3 to download.

"To be honest, if what Stormzy says is true, I kind of see his reasoning for pulling out. No-one wants to tolerate racial abuse," says Chris, who's been in Mayrhofen for Snowbombing since Monday.

"Obviously it's bad for his fans that he left it until the day to pull out, but if he had no other choice, he's got to stand by what he believes in at the end of the day."

Stormzy also told his fans he was sorry for wasting their time and money.

"Again, deeply sorry to everyone who came but I need you to understand why this is necessary in the grand scheme of trying to fight back against racism."

Stormzy was due to headline Snowbombing alongside The Prodigy and Groove Armada.

The Prodigy were replaced by a Chase & Status tribute show to The Prodigy, following the death of frontman Keith Flint.

Groove Armada played in the early hours of Monday morning, before Chris and most other festival-goers had arrived at Snowbombing.

Newsbeat has contacted Stormzy for further comment.

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