2004 was a time when radio-played hip-hop got no love from largely rock-centric events like Reading Festival.
Festival audiences make or break performances, while sometimes operating with a certain level of disdain that can force artistes to walk off stage.
In 2004, 50 Cent and G-Unit were scheduled to perform at the highly popular Reading Festival, as one of the first mainstream hip-hop acts to be seen at the event.
As soon as he and his posse’ took to stage they were greeted by dozens and dozens of flying bottles, that were aimed strategically at him. 50 Cent and G-Unit at first took no heed to the crowd’s ‘advice’ and continued to perform. After 20 long and cringe-worthy minutes, the rapper walked off stage in an understandable huff. Videos of the ‘bottle-assault’ surfaced online which only proved one thing : the crowd had no intention of tolerating a rapper on stage and thus eventually got their way.
This moment was a turning point in showing how certain ‘kinds’ of music or people were not tolerated at music festivals and brought up dialogue about the current times.
Attitudes have since changed as major hip-hop and rap acts like Jay-Z and Kanye have been seen headling major UK festivals that were once dedicated to rock music only.