Controversial rapper Kanye West’s Italian concert has been postponed due to a train strike and bad weather, MailOnline can exclusively reveal.
West was scheduled to perform at the open-air venue in Reggio Emilia on Friday and organizers were in talks with local authorities about the concert all last week.
Initially, the event was scheduled to take place on October 20, but with 100,000 supporters expected and a planned railway workers’ strike on the Italian network, it was decided to postpone the event.
Authorities also took into account that heavy rain is forecast in the area on Friday evening and that, without shelter, the open-air venue was at risk of turning into a mud bath.
A spokesperson for the Reggio Emilia prefecture said: “Given that a railway workers’ strike was planned for the same day and heavy rain is expected, it was deemed prudent to postpone the event.
EXCLUSIVE: Kanye West’s controversial concert in Italy, which was due to take place on Friday, has been postponed following protests from veterans who criticized him for praising Hitler.
He will still move forward: “The organizers have been offered another date, October 27, and we are waiting to know if it suits them”
“Our aim is to ensure the safety and security of everyone and if there is a transport issue the concert cannot go ahead safely and as it is held outdoors the forecast heavy rain would also have created problems.
“The organizers have been offered another date, October 27, and we are waiting to know if it suits them.”
Security is expected to be increased as MailOnline highlighted how local veterans groups were angry that the concert was even being touted because of West’s praise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism.
In a shock interview last year, West said: “Every human being has something of value that he contributed, especially Hitler.
“I like Jews, but I also like Nazis. There’s a lot of things I like about Hitler, a lot of things, I like Hitler, I’m a Nazi.
Albertina Soliani, vice-president of the National Association of Italian Partisans (ANPI), stormed: “It is time to say enough to these people who think they can say what they want.
“Someone can be a fantastic singer, but they are also judged by what they say, and West has made inhumane statements and with what is happening in the world today, we cannot accept this concert.
“We strive every day to carry certain values, which are freedom and democracy, and then we have to start from the beginning.
In an interview last year, West said: “Every human being has something of value that they brought, especially Hitler (Kanye pictured arriving at Milan fashion week in September).
His love interest: West – who has now changed his name to Ye – has been in Italy for an extended holiday with his Australian wife Bianca Censori since August.
“In my opinion he should stay at home, Reggio Emilia has always appreciated people who fought for certain principles and we are on the side of the oppressed and not those who preach hatred.”
Ermete Fiaccadori, ANPI regional president for Reggio Emilia, blasted West and said: “First of all, let me just say that I hope this concert does not happen, this artist has a wide audience of young people, but its message is worrying.
“I am speechless that he cannot understand what he is saying, spreading a gross misunderstanding of what Adolf Hitler was throughout history.
“I am all for artistic freedom, but what Kanye West says and does leaves me shocked.
“As an organization, we completely condemn this concert and are very concerned about the message it conveys.
“And before anyone says it, this is not censorship because we are all for freedom, but we are talking about a concert that is completely out of order.
“Reggio has a long history of fighting against the ideas of Adolf Hitler, and many lost their lives because of it.”
West, 46, has been in Italy with his Australian-Italian wife Bianca Censori, 28, since August and is said to be working on a new album at a recording studio in Milan.
In March 1944, in Cervarolo, just 65 kilometers from Reggio Emilia, the Nazis massacred 24 people, including the village priest, in retaliation for their partisan activities.
In a hard-hitting editorial on its website, ReggioOnline blasted the concert idea, saying: “Do we really want this?” and highlighted how much controversy the star has been embroiled in since being in Italy.
He adds: “West is able to sell thousands of tickets in just a few minutes, move a huge amount of money, create an event that will reach millions of people overnight through streaming.
“Is it true that Kayne West sings in Reggio Emilia in the name of art and its ability to attract a large audience?
“This is a city that takes its students to visit the extermination camps on memory trips so that these atrocities never happen again.
“It is a city in which the values of the person, human dignity and respect for others are not called into question and are also remembered.
“This is the city where children are not sent to ovens to burn, but are exalted through an educational system that the world copies from us.
“In the name of money, many justifications can be put forward: from the phrase “if he didn’t sing in Reggio, he would sing elsewhere” to the most subtle: “all artists sing dubious phrases”.
Not happy: Local veterans groups representing former partisans who fought against the Nazis and Hitler as well as Italian dictator Benito Mussolini criticized the concert
Big project: Trucks have been coming and going for several days from the RCF Arena in Reggio Emilia near Bologna and on Thursday a private jet landed at a nearby airstrip and a car with blackened windows was seen heading towards the site.
“If West performs in Reggio Emilia, he will certainly fit into the logic of a market which does not look at what is sung but at what it produces.
“However, remember that words, in addition to producing money, when dangerous and violent, produce brain damage in many people. But this is obviously of little or no interest.
Last year, West released an album called Donda, named after his mother, and he is reportedly in Italy working on the follow-up.
Music forums suggested that the concert, if not allowed, would be a “listening event” where, instead of performing in front of a live audience, it would be streamed online.
Donda – which was West’s 10th album – is named after his mother Donda C West, who died in 2007 aged just 58.
West last performed in Italy in August, when he performed in front of 60,000 fans at a Travs Scott concert in Rome – and it was his first appearance since he made a flood of anti-Semitic comments.
Dressed all in black and barefoot, West sang Praise God by Donda as well as his 2007 anthem Can’t Tell Me Nothing.
The concert made headlines after 60 people had to be hospitalized following the spray of pepper spray, while residents feared an earthquake when the jumping fans triggered intense vibrations with a magnitude of 1.3.