A Tribe Called Quest were set to headline the Friday slate of shows at the Outside Lands festival in San Francisco this past week. On very short notice, though, they cancelled their set. They tried to make it up a couple times throughout the weekend but to no avail.
While there wasn’t any explicit reason why Q-Tip, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi had to quickly cancel during the festival, ATCQ has now cleared the air. They said they were still experiencing a “wave of grief” over the loss of Phife Dawg, who passed away in March 2016.
“Upon the eve of playing for you, we performed not to a mixed crowd of festival patrons but to a filled house of solely Questers. It was humbling,” the group said in an apology to the LA Times. “The beautiful Red Rock amphitheater was filled with voices helping us get through a difficult performance without our brother Phife,” they continued.
“You would think that with every performance we heal a little more and the sadness is easier to handle. Sometimes that is the case and sometimes the grief and loss is compounded. Although the house was filled with love and we felt it all, we also felt the huge void of Phife’s absence. We walked off that stage deep in grief.”
“That Friday morning upon traveling to San Francisco,” the group said, “a wave of grief was still on us and in that moment we could not see the “on” to go on to.”
The band promised to make up for it, though: “We look to correct this and regain your confidence. Actually, let us restate that — we will correct this and regain your confidence.”
A Tribe Called Quest is scheduled to play a couple festivals in Europe during September. They’re expected to go on as scheduled.