Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Neumos: Buju Banton concert cancelled

Here's a letter from Neumos Owner Steven Severin:

After much debate, Neumos has cancelled the Buju Banton show.

Our mission of providing for the free expression of art must give way in this situation to our responsibility to the health and safety of our patrons and the community. The publication and dissemination of the lyrics for one of this artist’s songs has created the potential for violence that we will not tolerate.

To our patrons who were looking forward to this show, we apologize that you will not be able to see an artist you wanted to see. To those in the community that were deeply offended that we would bring an overtly homophobic artist to the heart of capitol hill we apologize.

We are mindful that this action comes at significant social costs. As a performing arts venue we take pride in allowing artists to freely express their views without censorship or prior restraint. We believe that dissent and disagreement are vital and healthy parts of a community. The song, “Boom Bye Bye” written by Buju Banton over a decade ago when he was fifteen clearly goes beyond such dissent and disagreement, is abhorrent and cannot be defended by anyone. We sympathize with and understand the strong emotions that the publication and dissemination of the lyrics have incited in our community. Because of this, the show cannot go on.

Steven Severin
Neumos/Wake Up Productions/Liberty Lounge
Owner/Talent Buyer

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