After Governors Ball was forced to cancel Sunday’s festival due to the threat of inclement weather (which never really materialized — bastard meteorologists…), many of the scheduled artists booked makeup shows throughout New York City’s numerous venues. That included headliner Kanye West, as rumors began spreading of a 2:00 AM pop up show at Webster Hall. The gig never actually happened, however, as thousands of fans flooded the streets around the venue, causing what’s being called a “near riot.”
The NYPD were forced to shut down the show before it even got started as fans essentially took over 11th street between 4th and 3rd Avenue. What began as a horde standing in line broke down into a crushing crowd that spilled beyond the city block. Reports rolled in of people trampling each other, scaling scaffolding, and climbing on top of cars and truck. From photos of the scene, it looks like the throngs prevented an 18-wheeler carrying the US mail from leaving the nearby postoffice.
Webster Hall has a 1,500 person capacity, and this was for a man who filled Madison Square Garden to show off his new fashion line and play his latest album off a laptop, so you can just imagine the chaos outside the smaller venue.
Just after midnight, Kanye tweeted out that the show had “sold out,” despite reports indicating that it would actually be free. 45 minutes later, Webster Hall’s official account sent a tweet reading, “There is no late show at Webster Hall tonight. Please get home safely.” However, most of the crowd remained, chanting, “Pablo! Pablo” and singing hits like “Power”. Kim Kardashian even sent a SnapChat video of her husband appearing to try and get in touch with Mayor Bill de Blasio to “shut down the block and then start putting some screens up so they can have a party outside.” At two in the morning. On a Sunday. In New York City.
Eventually, Kanye did actually arrive at the venue, but only to drive by as he stood out of the sunroof of a car that also carried Travis Scott. Of course, this was about 20 minutes after the NYPD stood in front of Webster and announced through a megaphone that the show was officially canceled shortly before 1:00 AM. Even so, the streets around Webster were essentially chaos well past the two o’clock showtime.
Below, check out more images and videos from the madness, including Kardashian’s video of Kanye trying to get in touch with the Mayor.
Update 4:00 PM: Looks like Mayor de Blasio really did hear Kanye’s call for help. In a tweet mimicking Kardashian’s SnapChat post, the New York City mayor de Blasio told Mr. and Mrs. West, “Great block parties are planned. [My wife Chirlane McCray] and I can thrown on w/ you to benefit NYC kids.” That seems like something for which Kanye would be down, as when he announced his upcoming presidential candidacy at last year’s VMAs, he said he wants “to teach our kids that they can stand up for themselves. We’re going to teach our kids to believe in themselves.” Someone get the mayor Kanye’s digits, STAT.
Kanye actually did manage to perform Sunday night, it just wasn’t in New York. Over in New Jersey, Hot 97 was holding their annual Summer Jam, and Kanye showed up unannounced to join his G.O.O.D. Music crew on stage. The show took place prior to the failed Webster gig. Check out clips, including some backstage snaps from Mrs. West, below.