Photo: Billboard

A Tribe Called Quest Explains Outside Lands Absence In Heartfelt Apology Letter

A Tribe Called Quest crushed the hopes of eager fans the past weekend when the group cancelled their performance at San Francisco’s Outside Lands Festival not once, but two times, with little notice. The legendary act has followed up its absence with an earnest, lengthy apology letter published in the Los Angeles Times that attributes the no show to being overwhelmed with emotion.

After a direct apology, the letter details a performance in Colorado the night before their scheduled appearance at Outside Lands:

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 beautiful Red Rock amphitheater was filled with voices helping us get through a difficult performance without our brother Phife. 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.

The apology continues, describing how the grief left the group unfit to perform on Saturday, and how “everything did not come together before the closing curfew” the following night, when ATCQ was finally ready to take the stage.

The letter promises that Tribe will make up the absence to its fans, and goes on to thank Outside Lands’ organizers. “We will correct this and regain your confidence,” the letter reads.

Promoters cited “unforeseen travel issues” as the cause of Tribe’s initial no-show—RAC and Little Dragon changed their scheduled set times to fill the slot. After ATCQ missed Saturday night’s rescheduled performance, organizers released a statement:

Due to further travel complications, A Tribe Called Quest could not make their re-scheduled festival performance. Outside Lands has done everything in our power to accommodate these unfortunate circumstances and we deeply regret the disappointment this has caused our fans.

It’s not yet clear how Q-Tip, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi intend to make good on missing the show. The trio performed what they called the group’s final New York City concert last month. You can read their full apology letter here.

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