Lauryn Hill has responded to criticism she faced after being two hours late for a gig in Atlanta by attributing her lateness to her need to “align my energy with the time”.
Hill performed at the US city’s Chastain Park Amphitheatre on Friday night (May 6). The concert had been scheduled to start at 8pm but Hill reportedly didn’t arrive onstage until 10.20pm. Hill eventually performed a 40 minute set, with her microphone being cut off at 11pm due to the venue’s curfew.
The former Fugees singer took to Facebook on Sunday (May 8) to respond to disappointed expressed by some fans to her lateness. One Twitter user uploaded a video of a fan berating Hill for poor punctuality (scroll below to watch).
Writing on Facebook, Hill said: “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.”
She continued: “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 scrutinise, 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.”
Hill went on: “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.”