The three artists are booked to play alongside the South African hip-hop act in the Indoor Arena at the festival, which is scheduled to take place on August 30 at London’s Clapham Common. But, citing past accusations of sexual assault, abuse, racism and homophobia levelled at the Cape Town collective, the three English artists are calling on the festival promoters to remove Die Antwoord from the bill.
“So, some of you may know we are scheduled to play at a festival called ALT+LDN this summer, and on that same festival is a group called Die Antwoord,” says Bob Vylan’s Bobby in a new video posted on Twitter.
“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. But, of course, I have no say over who gets booked for this festival, so looking for things that I can do is becoming challenging. Now, what I can do is ask publicly for ALT+LDN to remove Die Antwoord from this festival, and from this line-up, which is what I’m doing here, now.”
“Thank you ZAND for making me more aware of their history of abuse, which I’m learning more and more on – unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be an end to it. But 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.”
Regarding Die Antwoord at Alt+LDN. I would ask the other (bigger) artists on this festival to do some research on Die Antwoord’s history of abuse, racism and homophobia and ask that they are removed from the festival. pic.twitter.com/2r0veIrB5eMay 5, 2021
Blackpool ‘ugly pop’ singer Zand also called out Die Antwoord’s involvement in the event on social media, writing “i do not feel comfortable at all with a certain band (Die Antwoord) playing this festival due to their long history of abuse. 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.”
To date, there has been no comment from either Die Antwoord, or the festival organisers.
Die Antwoord were removed from the 2019 Riot Fest bill after a video surfaced of the group involved in an alleged homophobic assault. That same year saw Australian musician Zheani Sparkes accuse the band’s frontman Ninja (real name Watkin Tudor Jones) of sexual and indecent assault in 2013, a claim which Jones denied and dismissed as “wild and unsubstantiated”.