Controversial rapper Kanye West’s Italian gig has been postponed due to a train strike and bad weather, MailOnline can exclusively reveal.
West was due to perform at the open-air venue in Reggio Emilia on Friday and organisers had been in talks with local authorities about the gig all last week.
Initially it had been due to take place on October 20 but with 100,000 fans expected and a rail strike planned for the Italian network it was decided to postpone the event.
Officials also took into account that heavy rain is forecast in the area on Friday evening and with no shelter, the open-air venue risked becoming a mud bath.
A spokesperson for the Reggio Emilia prefecture said:’Given the fact that a rail strike was planned the same day, and that heavy rain is due it was thought prudent to postpone the event.
EXCLUSIVE: Kanye West’s controversial Italian gig – set to take place on Friday – has been postponed following protests from war veterans who have slammed him for praising Hitler
Will still go ahead: ‘The organisers have been given an alternative date of October 27 and we are waiting to hear back if it is acceptable to them’
‘Our aim to ensure the safety and security of all and if there is a transport issue then the concert cannot go ahead safely and as it is open air the heavy rain forecast would have also created problems.
‘The organisers have been given an alternative date of October 27 and we are waiting to hear back if it is acceptable to them.’
Security is expected to be tight as MailOnline highlighted how local veterans’ groups were angry the gig was even being touted because of West’s praise for Adolf Hitler and Nazism.
In a shock interview last year West said: ’Every human being has something of value they brought to the table, especially Hitler.
‘I love Jewish people, but I also love Nazis. There’s a lot of things that I love about Hitler, a lot of things, I like Hitler, I am a Nazi.’
Albertina Soliani, vice president of (ANPI) National Association of Italian Partisans, stormed: ’It’s time to say enough to these people who believe they can say what they want.
‘Someone can be a fantastic singer but then they are also judged by what they say, and West has made some inhumane declarations and with what’s happening in the world today we cannot accept this concert.
‘We are focused every day with carrying certain values, which are liberty and democracy and then with this we just have to start again from the beginning.
Kanye West says he ‘sees good things about Hitler’
In an interview last year West said: ’Every human being has something of value they brought to the table, especially Hitler (Kanye pictured arriving at Milan fashion week in September)
His love: West – who has now changed his name to Ye – has been in Italy on an extended holiday with his wife Australian Bianca Censori since August
‘In my opinion he should stay at home, Reggio Emilia has always appreciated people who have fought for determine principles and we are on the side of the oppressed and not those who preach hate.’
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 go ahead, this artist has a large following of youngsters, but his message is disquieting.
‘I’m speechless that he cannot understand what he Is saying, broadcasting a gross misunderstanding of what Adolf Hitler was in the course of history.
‘I am all for artistic liberty but what Kanye West says and does leave me shocked.
‘As an organisation we condemn this concert totally and we are very concerned about what message it conveys.
‘And before anyone says it, this isn’t censorship because we are all in favour of liberty, but we are talking about a concert that is totally out of order.
‘Reggio has a long history of fighting against the ideas of Adolf Hitler, and many lost their lives as a result.’
West, 46, has been in Italy with 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, at Cervarolo, just 40 miles from Reggio Emilia, the Nazis butchered 24 people including the village priest in retaliation for partisan activity.
In a hard-hitting editorial on its website ReggioOnline blasted the idea of the gig saying: ‘Do we really want this?’ and highlighted how the star has been involved in controversy since being in Italy.
It added: ‘West is capable of selling thousands of tickets in just a few minutes, of moving an enormous amount of money, of creating an event that will reach millions of people overnight through streaming.
‘Is it right 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 see the extermination camps on memory trips so that those atrocities are never repeated again.
‘This is a city in which the values of the person, of human dignity, and of respect for others are not questioned and are also remembered.
‘This is the city where children are not sent to ovens to burn but are exalted through an education system that the world copies from us.
‘In the name of money, many justifications can be put on the table: from the phrase “if he didn’t sing in Reggio, he would sing elsewhere” to the more subtle one: “all artists sing questionable phrases”.
Not happy: Local veterans’ groups representing former partisans who fought against the Nazis and Hitler as well as Italian dictator Benito Mussolini have blasted the concert
Big project: Trucks have been coming and going from the RCF Arena at Reggio Emilia near Bologna for several days and on Thursday a private jet landed at a nearby airstrip and a car with blacked out windows was seen heading to the venue
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‘If West performs in Reggio Emilia, he will certainly fall within the logic of a market that does not look at what is sung but at what it produces.
‘However, do not forget that words, in addition to producing money, when they are dangerous and violent, produce damage to the brains of many people. But this is obviously of little or no interest.’
Last year West brought out an album called Donda which was named after his mother, and he is said to be in Italy working on the follow up.
Music forums suggested the concert if not given the go ahead will 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 – was named after his mother Donda C West who died in 2007 aged just 58.
West last performed live in Italy in August when he appeared before 60,000 fans at a Travs Scott gig in Rome – and it was his first appearance since making a stream of anti-Semitic comments.
Dressed all in black and barefoot West sang Praise God from Donda as well as his 2007 anthem Can’t Tell Me Nothing.
That concert hit the headlines after 60 people needed hospital treatment when pepper spray was let off, while locals feared an earthquake as jumping fans triggered intense vibrations registering 1.3 magnitude.