South African shock-rap duo Die Antwood have been dropped from the upcoming London festival ALT+LDN. A statement issued on May 7th by the festival organisers reads: “Die Antwoord are no longer appearing at ALT + LDN, by mutual agreement.” Set to take place on Clapham Common on August the 30th, the line-up includes Playboy Carti, Machine Gun Kelly and Princess Nokia.
The organisers’ decision came as the backlash grew from some of the artists on the bill. ZAND spoke out about the South African band’s alleged history of abuse: “As grateful as I am for this insane opportunity and to be playing amongst a line-up packed with so many talented and iconic artists, it must be said. I do not feel comfortable at all with a certain band playing this festival due to their long history of abuse,” on Instagram they explained.
“Having a safe space for victims and all people should be a priority to all of us and in this instance because it is not, I will not allow my stance on this to come off as complacent by not addressing what needs to be addressed. Every other artist on this bill: let’s get it.”
Bobby Vylan, frontman of punks Bob Dylan, thanked ZAND for alerting him to Die Antwoord’s “history of abuse.” In the video posted to Bob Vylan’s Twitter on May 5th, the frontman publicly asked the festival organisers to remove the controversial rap group from the line-up.
“Now, I’m not extremely familiar with their music, but that’s neither here nor there, because I am familiar and I’m becoming more familiar with their history of abuse towards young people, towards vulnerable people, towards gay people, and people of colour.”
“Now, needless to say, I’m not fucking thrilled that this band is on the same festival as us; I’m less thrilled that they’re on the same fucking stage as us,” he continued.
The ‘We Live Here’ singer then explained that he felt he was doing his bit to help, as he has “no say over who gets booked for this festival, so looking for things that I can do is becoming challenging.”
He concluded in saying: “I’m publicly asking for ALT+LDN to remove Die Antwoord from the bill, and if not, I and other acts I’m sure will protest their presence with our presence, and make it extremely fucking uncomfortable for them to be there, I can guarantee that. Peace.”
Sam Carter, frontman of British metalcore group, Architects replied to Vylan’s video saying: “We’re reaching out with you.”
In 2019, Die Antwoord were dropped from a string of high-profile festivals after an altercation in which they were filmed shouting homophobic slurs at American DJ Andy Butler, leader of retro-futurists Hercules and Love Affair.
In response Ninja of Die Antwoord, real name Watkin Tudor Jones, claimed that the video had been “cleverly edited” to “make it seem like me and Yolandi committed a hate crime towards a person because they are gay … This was just a fight with someone who fucked with us.”
The allegations do not stop there. Tudor Jones has been accused of sexual assault by several women. The most high profile of these came in 2019 when Australian musician Zheani Sparkes filed a police report. Sparkes claimed that the Johannesburg native had sexually assaulted her in 2013, then shared explicit photos of her as revenge porn.
Singers Dionna Dal Monte, Jade Carroll and Die Antwoord’s former collaborator Benjay Crossman, have all at different points in the past, respectively shared details of the duo’s alleged offences.
Die Antwoord vehemently deny all of the allegations levelled against them.