The collective tell NME.COM that authorities threatened to pull the entire event if they appeared...
So Solid Crew claim they were strong-armed off the bill of the HOMELANDS FESTIVAL with authorities threatening to pull the plug on the ENTIRE event if they appeared, NME.COM can exclusively reveal.
It was announced last week that due to “unprecedented pressure” from police, event promoters Mean Fiddler asked So Solid Crew not to appear at the June 1 event at WInchester Matterley Bowl. The police blamed public safety fears. Now So Solid Crew have told NME.COM, that “it was made clear to [the organisers] that if we played there would be no festival”.
“It seems that no matter what we do, we are the convenient scapegoats for the authorities,” the collective added.
Mick O’Keefe, Mean Fiddler’s promoter for the event – who last week spoke excitedly about the collective’s appearance at the festival – echoed So Solid Crew’s feelings.
“Melvin Benn [Mean Fiddler chief] had a meeting with the police and the council. They put a pretty overwhelming case as to why they wouldn’t allow the festival to go ahead with this act. We were going to lose the whole festival if So Solid Crew remained on the bill,” he said.
A spokesperson for Hampshire police conceded it was not normal practise for police to take such an interest in individual festival acts. But she added that because of the notorious profile of the band and the trouble they have attracted in the past, the police had singled them out.
“Hampshire police felt that we could not guarantee public safety. So Solid Crew have had unprecedented coverage in the last year, and like many other constabularies in Britain, we felt it was too dangerous to allow their performance to go ahead.
“We took the decision that if promoters did allow them to appear, we would have gone to the council and voiced our concerns and the licence for the festival probably would have been revoked.”
Though the police are intent on maintaining public safety, they were unable to provide any sort of answer as to what exactly they feared if So Solid Crew appeared. “I can’t go into any more details,” the spokesperson said.
She added that the police would not vet suggested replacements for So Solid Crew, but did say: “There is a process for applications and we will judge whoever is suggested next on their merits.
“Homelands is a huge planning undertaking for us. We are a small provincial force and every year have 340 officers on duty.”
It is now beginning to look like So Solid Crew will never be allowed to perform live on mainland UK, something the band are aware of. To see their statement in full, get this week’s NME (issue dated March 30), in shops in London today (March 26) and throughout the UK from tomorrow.