Hip hop artist slaps female photographer at Voodoo music festival
POSTED: Monday, October 31, 2011 - 12:57am
UPDATED: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 - 2:41pm
NEW ORLEANS, LA (NBC33) — THIS IS AN NBC33 NEWS UPDATE: A representative with the Voodoo Experience issued a statement shortly before midnight on Monday, Oct. 31 regarding the Odd Future performance and the allegations of misconduct against media photographers.
The VOODOO EXPERIENCE does not in any way condone the behavior of Odd Future towards the approved media assembled in the photo pit during the band’s set yesterday (Sunday, October 30). Festival organizers would like to apologize to their media guests who experienced and/or witnessed this abusive behavior.
THIS IS AN NBC33 NEWS UPDATE: Pitchfork Magazine reports that the publicist for Odd Future has responded to the allegations that a member slapped a female photographer during the group’s performance at the Voodoo Experience on Sunday, Oct. 30.
"There simply is no truth to the accusation floating around the internet. It’s no secret that Odd Future has a love/hate relationship with photographers at shows simply because sometimes they are given access the group wishes their fans would have instead. After telling the photographers to clear out multiple times (as they've done before) Vyron (Leftbrain) took a swipe at a few cameras, NOT people. To manipulate the situation to insinuate an attack on a woman specifically is careless and manipulative."
ORIGINAL STORY: An incident in the final hours of a three day music festival in New Orleans shocked fans, as well as organizers of the festival.
The hip hop collective Odd Future performed at the Voodoo Experience just before 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30. The group is based out of California and is known for its use of extreme explicit language and graphic lyrics that often depict violence against women. The imagery, however, became all too real at this performance.
The show got heated at the close of the first song when the lead vocalist known by his stage name, Tyler the Creator, 20, began addressing the crowd about his disliking for photographers. In his explanation he says that the barricaded area where the photographers work is not fair to the fans. Other members of the group backed up his words.
Vyron Turner, aka “Left Brain,” got physical with the less than two-dozen photographers in the pit area. He slung water at them, and then pushed and kicked cameras. The truly shocking moment was when he slapped freelance professional photographer Amy Harris across her face, knocking her camera to the ground.
“I have worked many shows before, and I’ve had to deal with a band flinging water at the photographers, but I never expected this to happen,” Harris told NBC33 News shortly after the incident occurred. “In the pit, the male to female ratio is about 20 to 1. There were way more men in that pit than women.”
Harris had a prearranged interview scheduled directly after the Odd Future show with festival CEO Steven Rehage. Harris informed Rehage of the incident and Harris says he immediately addressed the situation.
Harris declined the option to contact Police to file charges of assault. She also says her equipment was not damaged during the incident.
Odd Future was not available for comment.
The Voodoo Experience is held annually since 1999 in New Orleans' City Park over Halloween Weekend. Although its primarily considered a rock festival, the roster of musical acts includes everything from funk, electronic, and hip hop.
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Photograph for this story provided by Amy Harris.