Let’s Rant: Surprise Guests

by The Cowl Editor on November 14, 2019


by Peter Keough ’20 A&E Co-Editor

Both on concert tours and at music festivals, it is becoming increasingly popular for artists and organizers to bring out unannounced guests to perform their own music. Whether it be Kanye West joining Chance the Rapper on stage or Harry Styles performing with Kacey Musgraves, this move has become commonplace in live performances.


Following this trend, Tyler, the Creator included a mystery guest in the lineup at his Camp Flog Gnaw music festival this past weekend. Teased months in advance, speculation around this mysterious artist was popular amongst festival attendees. The Los Angeles Times reported that many fans hoped the slot was reserved for Frank Ocean, basing their presumptions on his affiliation with the festival’s organizers as well as his teasing of new music.

When the mystery guest ended up being singer-rapper Drake, his appearance was met with a largely negative reaction. The crowd began booing the artist, causing him to cut his set short after only performing six songs. Ultimately, the festivalgoers were upset with the surprise, as it was not the artist they had hoped for.

Both Drake and Tyler, the Creator shared responses to this incident on social media. While Tyler, the Creator addressed the embarrassment he felt on Twitter, Drake poked fun with a post on Instagram, his caption stating, “Plot twist…just signed a 10 year residency at Camp Flog Gnaw sorry kids see you EVERY SINGLE YEAR till you are 30.”

Following this occurrence, there is much debate about if the fans’ disappointment was justifiable or not. While some may have been disappointed with Drake’s appearance when they were expecting Ocean, did this give them the right to boo the artist off stage? The concept of a surprise artist is that, as stated in the name, they are meant to surprise the audience. Just because the featured artist may not be who fans expected, they were still getting a performance by an extremely popular rapper. This makes their boos seem somewhat excessive and unwarranted, and one would hope that this kind of reaction does not become as common as the inclusion of surprise guests themselves.