Andrew WK was formally invited by the US State department to visit Bahrain as a Cultural Ambassador to the Middle East promoting "music, freedom, and positive party power" at a concert in Manama on 2 December.
The US authorities, despite being the first mover in the booking, deemed WK "not the best choice", and found he did not "meet standards". Putting on a show by a man whose public image involves having a bloodied face, and who advocates partying till you puke via an EP release in 2000 and regular Tweets (but who has also given lectures at Yale and Harvard), was said by a spokesperson to be an "inappropriate use of US government funds".
WK said in a statement: "When I was originally invited by our contact, it seemed everyone was aware of what I stand for with my positive attitude. They were aware of how I look and my high-energy rock music. They were excited to bring my message of living life to the fullest to the people in the Middle East… So for a Department of State representative to say Andrew WK ‘doesn’t meet their standards’ after they invited me and planned my trip for a year… well, that doesn’t meet my standards either. You can’t judge a book by its cover. I would’ve done a great job and represented our nation with dignity and pride.
"Despite all these challenges, I still would love to go and I vow to continue partying, and working everyday to unite our human race through the power of positive partying."