Music

AP Dhillon Drops Out of Coachella Weekend 2 After Guitar-Smashing Backlash

AP Dhillon is leaving the California desert behind.

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Coachella announced that the Punjabi-Canadian star will not appear at the festival’s second weekend as planned, citing a “scheduling conflict.” The festival announced the news in a follow-up tweet to one announcing that rapper Kid Cudi has been added to the lineup.

While Dhillon’s first-weekend performance was well-received by the Coachella crowd and many of his supporters, he’s also had some backlash due to how he closed his set, which has been widely covered by media in India.

The artist finished his performance by smashing his guitar onstage.

Some fans have invoked India’s cultural reverence for musical instruments, criticizing Dhillon’s rock-star move as a sign of disrespect and arrogance.

“The guitar that has provided you with life, love, peace, success and respect- you end up breaking it!” reads one popular comment on Dhillon’s post featuring footage of the smash.

In a subsequent post, Dhillon shared photos of his tribute to the late Sidhu Moose Wala, with the caption “the media is controlled and I’m out of control.” The last slide of the post features footage of Kurt Cobain smashing his guitar, linking Dhillon’s move to a longstanding rock and roll tradition.

If guitar-smashing has a long lineage in rock and roll, so does criticism of the move. Phoebe Bridgers faced backlash in 2021 for breaking her guitar on Saturday Night Live, while even some notable guitar-smashers are now critical of their former selves. Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea tweeted his regrets shortly after Dhillon’s Coachella set. “feel like such an idiot for smashing my bass to pieces on stage back in the day, pathetic,” he wrote on X.

Fans who are disappointed to miss Dhillon’s second Coachella performance can take some solace in his recent collaboration with U.K. Grime artist Stormzy, until there’s more news of upcoming performances.

This article was originally published by Billboard Canada.

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