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Kanye West refuses to play Coachella until Billie Eilish apologises to Travis Scott

By | Published on Friday 11 February 2022

Travis Scott

Kanye West has threatened to pull out of this year’s Coachella festival unless Billie Eilish apologises to Travis Scott for a comment she made on stage recently after she stopped a show to help a fan who was seemingly having an asthma attack.

Eilish halted a show last weekend when she noticed a fan in distress in the audience. She asked her team to fetch an inhaler for the person before resuming the performance. In videos shared on social media, she is heard to say: “We’re taking care of our people. I’m waiting for people to be OK until I keep going”.

West – and indeed others – believe that what Eilish said was actually a dig at Travis Scott over last year’s Astroworld tragedy. Scott, of course, has been criticised for continuing to perform as a fatal crowd surge unfolded during his headline set at the festival he founded. Although the musician has insisted that he was not aware of what was happening on the ground as he performed his Astroworld show.

Eilish and West are both headliners at Coachella this year on different days, and West apparently plans to bring Scott out on stage during his set there.

In a post on Instagram, West wrote: “Come On Billie, we love you, please apologise to Trav and to the families of people who lost their lives. No one intended this to happen. Trav didn’t have any idea of what was happening when he was one stage and was very hurt by what happened. Yes, Trav will be with me at Coachella, but now I need Billie to apologise before I perform”.

Ten people died and hundreds more were injured as a result of the crowd surge at Astroworld. A criminal investigation and hundreds of civil lawsuits have been launched, with various questions over what led to the tragedy – including why the show carried on for more than 30 minutes after a “mass casualty event” had been declared by law enforcement.

While Scott himself has been criticised over the incident and he is a defendant in most of the lawsuits, focus has largely now moved onto the responsibilities and liabilities of promoter Live Nation and its Scoremore subsidiary.

In a comment under West’s post, Eilish refused to apologise, saying: “Literally never said a thing about Travis. Was just helping a fan”.

Meanwhile, the grandparents of the youngest person to die at Astroworld, nine year old Ezra Blount, have condemned West’s comments.

“To hear Kanye’s words, that’s hurtful to us. What an idiotic thing to say”, the boy’s grandfather Bernon Blount told Rolling Stone. “That’s crazy that he wants someone to apologise for putting the welfare of someone else before their profits. That’s someone who needed their asthma pump. They could have lost their life, right then. This world is twisted, and we have to stop doing this”.

Ezra’s grandmother Tericia Blount added: “I think it’s just crazy, and I hate to use that word, but I think it’s ridiculous. She’s making sure that she is caring for the patrons at her concert, and I just think that’s crazy of Kanye to even let that demand come out of his mouth”.

“I totally commend Billie Eilish for having that decency about her”, she went on. “I think what she did was wonderful, and I would love to tell her myself how brilliant and awesome she is for doing so”.

In another Instagram post shortly after his call for an apology from Eilish, West criticised a commenter for suggesting that his original demand suggested he was “off the meds”.

He wrote: “The world is racist, sexist, homophobic and crazy-phobic at our core. It’s cheap and dismissive to say I’m off my meds any time I speak up. Phobia in this sense doesn’t mean being ‘afraid of’, it means ‘not giving power to’. Let’s be more conscious and not write each other off so easily”.

West is currently working on the follow-up to last year’s ‘Donda’ album. ‘Donda 2’ is currently set for release on 22 Feb.