After a Memorably Botched Action Bronson Show, the Rockaway Hotel Is Offering Refunds and Reassurances About Its Arts Programming

The art world hangout is giving out refunds.

Action Bronson at the Rockaway Hotel. Photo by Kaitlin Erin Higgins.

A highly anticipated event at New York art world getaway the Rockaway Hotel went awry over the weekend as fans eagerly awaited a set from Action Bronson.

When the Queens-born rapper finally came onstage, he refused to sing, and instead started into a DJ set. This would be an evening courtesy of Spotify, he joked. (Actually, it was worse: A second man was actually at the controls, abruptly starting and stopping an eclectic mix of tunes with awkward silences between each track.)

As the crowd stirred, he finally addressed the matter.

“This may not be the show you asked for, but it’s the show you’re getting,” Bronson said. And when a fan asked him to sing, he got mad.

“I don’t sing. They sold you the wrong show,” he said, and then stormed offstage scarcely 45 minutes after he had begun. Music continued playing off a laptop for a few more minutes before someone from the hotel took to the stage to inform guests that the rapper would not, in fact, be returning.

The hotel is known for its active arts programming, which includes summer concerts and an “Artist’s Table” dinner series pairing chefs and visual artists. The next one features Claudette Flatow and Zoë Buckman for a Moroccan-style Shabbat meal on July 7. It is also staging an exhibition of work by photographer Erica Reade as part of the hotel’s new artist residency program, as well as a new community mural by Jesse Krimes.

Hopefully, the hotel will sort out its event planning moving forward. For now, it’s offering refunds to Bronson ticket holders and scrambling to assure would-be guests that the event isn’t indicative of its regular programming.

“Bronson’s actions do not reflect the hotel’s commitment to ongoing meaningful programming,” a representative for the hotel said. “The Rockaway Hotel is disappointed by Sunday night’s programming and is working to resolve the matter.”

It turned out, though, that the concert was always supposed to be a DJ set—but fans had no idea, as it was not described as such in promos. When the event was being planned, Bronson had said he wanted to do something “different” for his fans, “spinning his own vinyls,” the hotel said in a statement.

When Bronson posted on Twitter and Instagram Sunday morning that the event would be a DJ set, not a concert, there was confusion. The hotel followed up with an email shortly before the doors opened: “To be clear, this is an Action Bronson ‘presents’ date and will be a DJ set/appearance.”

Bronson did not respond to requests for comment from Artnet News.


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