Lauryn Hill has garnered a reputation for often being late to shows. On Friday, tension from fans somewhat boiled over as she (and the practice of showing up on time for a show people pay to see) became a topic of conversation online after she took the stage at a show in Atlanta two hours after she was scheduled to. She was only able to perform for 40 minutes, as she was kicked off stage because the venue’s 11 p.m. curfew rolled around, according to a local news station.
Early Sunday morning, Ms. Hill delivered a statement on Facebook defending her process of getting ready for performances, which causes her to be late. “The challenge is aligning my energy with the time,” she said, “taking something that isn’t easily classified or contained, and trying to make it available for others. I don’t have an on/off switch.”
Man, I wonder if Shake and Mek would let me show up for my work week on Thursday afternoon, once my writing energies are in line, and still get paid. Anyway, Ms. Hill has another concert lined up for Tuesday (May 10) in Richmond, Va., so we’ll see if she shows up on time for that one. But hey, if you’re fully committed to this creative process, why waver from it now?
Read the full statement below.
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. 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 scrutinize, 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.
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.