Lauryn Hill has continually caught flak for turning up late to her concerts, occasionally not turning up at all. This past Friday (May 6), she took to the stage two hours later than initially planned at her show in Atlanta, which understandably upset many fans hoping for a full performance from the artist, who only managed to perform for 40 minutes due to the venue’s strict 11 P.M. curfew. She reportedly asked for extra time, but the venue couldn’t do much to help.
After getting called out by a fan disappointed with her lateness, she defended herself by saying her driver got lost, and now she’s issued a statement on the matter. Talking about more than just this particular show, she started her statement by saying, “I don’t show up late to shows because I don’t care. And I have nothing but Love and respect for my fans. The challenge is aligning my energy with the time, taking something that isn’t easily classified or contained, and trying to make it available for others. I don’t have an on/off switch.”
The statement, which was shared via Facebook, can read in full below.
I don’t show up late to shows because I don’t care. And I have nothing but Love and respect for my fans. The challenge is aligning my energy with the time, taking something that isn’t easily classified or contained, and trying to make it available for others. I don’t have an on/off switch. I am at my best when I am open, rested, sensitive and liberated to express myself as truthfully as possible. For every performance that I’ve arrived to late, there have been countless others where I’ve performed in excess of two hours, beyond what I am contracted to do, pouring everything out on the stage.
Because I care so deeply about the artistic process, I scrutinize, have perfectionist tendencies, and want space made for spontaneity, which is not an easy process, with the many moving parts on the road. Some days we are more successful than others re time. However, the vitality that is infused into the performances is always appreciated by the audiences, who may not know exactly what it took to accomplish. What hasn’t been touched upon by the media, I’m sure, are the hundreds of people who rushed the stage and stayed in excess of an hour after the show ended last night, just to connect.
Our challenge is to figure out the best way to accommodate the vitality, spontaneity, and spirit that make the performances worthwhile and special to begin with, while also making that experience available and accessible to others. If I didn’t Love and respect the art, I wouldn’t be doing this. The audience and I should have that in common.
My true audience knows emphatically that I care. It isn’t possible to affect people in any deep and meaningful way without putting sacrificial time in.
I have nothing but Love and appreciation for the fans in Atlanta, and regret not being able to give you a full show. We are figuring out a plan to make it up to you, and will announce details as soon as we have them.