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British rapper Stormzy bails on festival over "racism and racial profiling"

Wireless Festival 2018
Stormzy headlines the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival 2018, at Finsbury Park in London, July 7, 2018. Getty

Berlin -- An Austrian music festival is apologizing to British rap artist Stormzy, who pulled out of an appearance after accusing security staff of racial profiling. Snowbombing festival organizers said security responded Wednesday night to a report that an individual at the show in Mayrhofen had a weapon, and a small number of people, including Stormzy's manager, were searched.

Stormzy, who has risen quickly in the U.K.'s "grime" music scene in recent years, said on Instagram that his friends were "racially profiled, targeted and aggressively handled ... despite no one fitting the description."

Stormzy offered his "sincerest apologies" to disappointed fans but said "if these are the drastic steps that I need to take to make a point against racism and racial profiling, then trust me I'm taking it."

Snowbombing said Thursday they "wholeheartedly apologize to Stormzy's team" and will take steps to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Festival organizers confirmed to BBC Radio 1 that Stormzy's team had not been escorted off the premises and that the artist himself was not at the festival site when the incident took place. 

In a statement on its website the Snowbombing festival said staff were warned of a possible person carrying a weapon at the site and that "a small number of attendees, including Stormzy's manager were escorted to the nearest exit, searched and no weapon was found."

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