Jazz musician Kamasi Washington ended a show in Austria early following claims that venue security assaulted his father.
As reported by The Fader, Washington was scheduled to perform a full set at Arena Wien in Vienna, but the show was cut short after Washington’s father (who is also a touring member of his band) had a run-in with venue security. “The reason why we’re late tonight is because a security guard here assaulted my father, Rickey Washington,” he told the audience. “I met this man face to face. He looked at me and laughed. He said, ‘He was acting like an asshole.’ I said, ‘You don’t get to do that to him. We’re all going to leave.’”
Washington and his band performed only one song, “Truth,” in protest. Despite his disappointment in security, Washington still showed love for his Austrian fans. “I love y’all, and even though we look different and speak different languages I feel like we are one. All of us.”
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Today was a tough day. As we were entering our show at #arenawien one of the security guards assaulted Kamasi’s father, @rickeywashington . When Kamasi calmly asked for and explanation from the security guard and his superior, they laughed in his face and told Kamasi that is father was acting like and asshole 🤷🏽♂️ It took everything in me to not respond to this level of hate with hate in return. Instead Kamasi kindly got on stage, explained to the audience what happened. We played and gave all our love to our audience for one song and left the venue as a united squad. That was not cool @arenawien, Vienna Austria. #westcoastgetdown #fuckracism @kamasiwashington #unitedwestand
In a lengthy post on Facebook, venue officials acknowledged that the incident could be seen as racist, and they are “very sad” at how everything went down. They will be refunding all ticketholders and donating the entire cash turnover from the night to a charity organization.
Watch footage of Washington’s speech to the audience above.