Thousands of fans clogged New York’s streets early Monday on hopes of a surprise show by rap superstar Kanye West, who appeared in the crowd but ultimately did not play.
West had been due Sunday to headline New York’s Governors Ball festival, but the final day was canceled on fears of heavy thunderstorms.
After West wrote vaguely on Twitter about a show at 2:00 am (0700 GMT), a sea of fans converged around Webster Hall, a historic venue in the city’s East Village neighborhood and favorite spot for unannounced gigs.
Police were forced for more than an hour to close the area to traffic, with authorities sending out a traffic notice to residents, after thousands swarmed onto the streets including on parked cars, some chanting West’s name.
As a black car neared the venue, fans surrounded it and forced the vehicle to slow, with a smiling West appearing out of the sunroof to acknowledge the crowd, footage posted on social media showed.
But West ultimately did not play, likely due to the mayhem.
Webster Hall, whose main floor has a capacity of 1,500, informed that there would be no late surprise show and asked fans to go home.
West’s appearance at the Governors Ball festival, which takes place on Randall’s Island in the city’s East River, would have been one of his first shows since he released his latest album “The Life of Pablo” in February.
A master of staying in the spotlight, West, who is married to reality television star Kim Kardashian, has also said he plans to run for president in 2020.
A younger rapper who had been due to play Sunday at Governors Ball, Vic Mensa, played Sunday evening at Webster Hall in a last-minute but announced show.
Australian indie rock sensation Courtney Barnett, who was also among the canceled acts, performed a free show at the Rough Trade record store in Brooklyn.