In 2008, West enraged fans and Bonnaroo organizers by appearing to his closing slot of the festival about nine hours late. West blamed the festival organizers, in a pointed blog post following the delay.
“WE WERE OBVIOUSLY DEALING WITH F***ING IDIOTS WHO DIDN’T REALLY HAVE THE CAPACITY TO REALLY PUT ON THIS SHOW PROPERLY,” he posted at the time.
It didn’t appear that West would be seen at Bonnaroo any time soon, which is why it was shocking to see his name at the top of the 2014 lineup on Wednesday. Bonnaroo’s promoter, Rick Farman of Superfly, told Relix that the unpleasantness is all in the past:
“Everyone has moved on — it’s in the past. We’re happy he wants to come back to Bonnaroo and is embracing this. It’s a great opportunity for everyone to look forward, and we think it’s a great opportunity for the Bonnaroo community to show what it’s made of. It goes back to what Bonnaroo stands for: It’s about having good time, radiating positivity and that whole message. We couldn’t be more excited about what we think has the potential to be another historic Bonnaroo moment.”
In fact, Farman has nothing but good things to say about West and his live performances:
“We think Kanye is one of the most prolific and groundbreaking artists of this generation. He’s hugely influential. His albums are as great and as acclaimed as they get. He’s also a great live performer. He takes a lot of chances and he’s adventurous with the live space. All those things are what Bonnaroo performers are about. That’s why we booked him [in 2008].”
Bonnaroo 2014 will boast a solid hip-hop line-up to join West, including Frank Ocean, Wiz Khalifa, Lauryn Hill, Ice Cube, Janelle Monae, Die Antwood, Chance the Rapper, A$AP Ferg, A Tribe Called Red, and Danny Brown.