Lauryn Hill fans that came out to show their support for the neo-soul singer were let down last night when she arrived 45 minutes late to her set at Voodoo Fest in New Orleans. Scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. that evening, Hill’s performance didn’t actually begin until a quarter to 7. The singer was in the middle of singing a Roots throwback — the 1996 single “Ready or Not” — when her microphone was abruptly cut off.
Despite the interruption, Hill continued to sing as Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” drowned out her voice over the loudspeakers. Some fans directed their disappointment at the singer, booing loudly as she eventually made her way off of the stage. Others blamed the festival’s management, claiming that the act of cutting Hill off was a slap in the face to the artist. Regardless of their stance on who was to blame, many of the fans who’d come out to see Hill specifically ended up leaving early, out of frustration.
In light of the disrupted set, things seemed to be taking a turn for the better when it was announced that Lauryn Hill would be given a second chance at performing — this time on a much smaller stage at 10 p.m. However, most of the remaining attendees of Voodoo Fest were there to see either Skrillex or Arctic Monkeys. When the time came for her redeeming performance to take place, Hill was, once again, nowhere in sight. This time, the much smaller crowd chanted her name, while others proceeded to boo or simply get up and leave. Hill arrived on stage around a quarter to 11, making her 45 minutes late to her set for the second time that night.
The few who remained for her show, which took place just 15 minutes before the festival was scheduled to wrap up, seemed just as satisfied with the performance as they would’ve been had she arrived on time. Hill told the crowd, “We’re going to do this one again,” before performing the singles “Ready or Not” and “Everything is Everything” a second time. The performance also featured acappella renditions of various songs from her discography, and the crowd went wild when she finally got to one of her most well-known songs, “Doo Wop (That Thing).” “Thank you so much for coming back y’all,” Hill said before exiting the stage and officially bringing the second day of Voodoo Fest to an end.