50 CENT BOTTLERS IN THE FIRING LINE

Backlash against "extraordinarily dangerous" bottle throwing at rapper…

The man responsible for booking 50 Cent at CARLING WEEKEND: READING AND LEEDS has dismissed as “narrow-minded and vindictive” those who bottled him and said that those responsible should feel ashamed.

In a letter to NME, Neil Pengelly, the artist booker for Reading and Leeds, has defended the decision to put the rapper on the bill for the festival despite the reaction to his performance.

As reported on NME.COM, 50 Cent was greeted with jeers and boos, while bottles and cups were thrown. Other objects including a chair and children’s paddling pool also flew towards the stage.

Pengelly told NME: “Should I be feeling angry, disappointed or disgusted at what happened when 50 Cent went out there?

“On websites leading up to the festivals there were a few narrow-minded idiots saying that he shouldn’t be at ‘our’ festival. Well, fuck that. Reading has a great track record for having the least safe and conservative bills in the country. We also uniquely have a reputation for putting on leading rap artists going back to Public Enemy and Run DMC through Ice Cube and Ice T to fantastic sets this year from Jurassic 5 and The Roots amongst others. 50 Cent is one of the world’s biggest rap acts and we were proud to have him on the bill. Don’t like him? Go and get a drink, go and watch another band. No-one’s going to like every band on the bill, fair enough.

“The huge crowd for Jurassic 5 on the Friday, and large, appreciative crowds for The Roots, Roots Manuva, Dizzee Rascal, Streets etc over the weekend is proof that the vast majority of the Reading audience is interested in a wide range of music so I don’t believe this was anti-rap.

“I guess it was perceived by some as a game. A game that was extraordinarily dangerous and put a downer on what was otherwise a trouble free and hugely enjoyable weekend.

“So what was achieved by throwing stuff like that? Do you think 50 Cent was upset? Think again, he’s not going to be bothered by an audience throwing stuff. They came off laughing… all the way to the bank.

“All that was achieved was that people who wanted a chance to see him didn’t get that. The festival that, for my money, has the most knowledgeable, enthusiastic crowd of any festival in the world was left looking narrow-minded and vindictive and everyone who threw stuff at the stage should feel ashamed. A bit of tolerance and respect for acts and fellow festival-goers is the least we can expect at a festival.”