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Thursday, 21 March, 2002, 11:24 GMT
So Solid dropped from festival
So Solid Crew
So Solid Crew have picked up many awards
Controversial garage act So Solid Crew have been dropped from this year's Homelands festival.

The event's organisers said "unprecedented pressure" from Hampshire police meant the group, along with Oxide and Neutrino, have been axed from the bill.

Homelands is one of the summer's biggest music festivals and features a host of top DJs and dance acts.

Last year So Solid Crew were forced to cancel their UK tour after fears of violence at their concerts by police.

Oxide and Neutrino have had hits on their own
Oxide and Neutrino have had hits on their own
It follows a shooting at their 1 November gig at London's Astoria, where two men received gunshot wounds.

Melvin Benn, managing director of Homeland's co-promoters Mean Fiddler, said police threatened to withdraw their support of the event unless the two acts were dropped.

He said: "Homelands has reluctantly had to accept that asking So Solid Crew and Oxide and Neutrino not to play Homelands festival is the only course of action."

Hampshire police said they were delighted with the decision because they were concerned about the safety of festival-goers.

Inspector Mark Wise said: "The well-documented problems associated with the band and some of its followers at events throughout the UK last year, raised the issue of public safety."

Disappointment

A spokeswoman for So Solid Crew said the act were "gutted" by the decision.

She said: "They have all worked hard to make sure that their fans, who have supported them from the beginning, would finally be able to see them perform all their hit singles."

The band won a Brit award for best video for their number one single 21 Seconds and they also walked off with two prestigious Music of Black Origin (Mobo) awards.

Oxide and Neutrino were also said to be disappointed by the decision.

Carl Cox will DJ at Homelands
Carl Cox will DJ at Homelands
The duo have had five UK top 20 singles of their own, including number one Bound 4 Da Reload, and also feature in the 30-strong So Solid Crew.

Their spokesman said: "After supporting Destiny's Child in Finsbury Park last summer and performing at the prestigious South by South West festival in Texas more recently, it is a great shame to find out now that we won't be able to perform at Homelands."

Mr Benn said that the event's organisers were looking for a top name replacement for the acts.

The festival takes place on 1 June near Winchester at The Bowl, Matterley Estate.

Bands including Basement Jaxx and Soft Cell will join DJs Carl Cox, Pete Tong and Roger Sanchez for the festival.

See also:

25 Jan 02 | Music
Homelands announces line-up
03 Dec 01 | Music
So Solid upset by cancellations
05 Oct 01 | Music
So Solid Crew: Garage stars
05 Dec 01 | Music
No UK tour for So Solid
01 Nov 01 | Music
Two shot at So Solid Crew party
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