Lauryn Hill’s performance at the Voodoo Experience Music Festival in New Orleans was cut short on Saturday.
Hill reportedly showed up about 45 minutes late to the festival’s biggest stage, missing more than half of her hour-long performance slot. Midway through her performance of “Ready Or Not,” her mic was cut off and Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” played through the speakers before the lights were lowered on the stage.
According to Billboard, fans criticized the festival management saying they “disrespected the artist” by dimming the lights during her performance. A representative for the festival told the audience that they couldn’t let her tardiness impact the other bands’ scheduled playing times.
“Things happen. Lauryn Hill was late,” the rep told the audience.
Hill was given another chance to perform on a smaller stage but things didn’t get much better. She was once again 45 minutes late. This time, fans began to boo and many decided to leave. When she finally arrived back on stage, Ms. Hill thanked the audience for coming back. There was no apology.
Of course this isn’t the first time Hill, or any other artist, has been late to a scheduled performance. Over the summer, the Grammy winner was scheduled to perform at the House of Blues in Chicago at 10:30pm but didn’t hit the stage until 11:20pm. A fan called her out on her tardiness, but Ms. Hill wasn’t having any of that.
“I do this because I love it, not because I owe you anything,” she said to the fan on stage. “You can say whatever you want. I don’t give a rat’s ass.”