Buju Banton’s Cancelled LA Show Rebooked On the Downlow?
October 15th, 2009
That’s what seems to have happened:
Jamaican Reggae star Buju Banton, whose upcoming performance in Los Angeles was initially canceled after outcry over his homophobic lyrics, may be slated to perform Thursday night.
A woman speaking for Hollywood’s Cabana Club told Advocate.com on Thursday that the event had yet to be confirmed — five hours before the scheduled start time, 9 p.m. However, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center has announced it will be holding a silent protest in front of the club on Thursday.
Banton’s North American tour has experienced multiple cancellations over the past few months as LGBT activists have protested his music advocating the murder of gay people. On Monday, LGBT advocates Michael Petrelis, San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty, EQCA’s Andrea Shorter met with Banton and pressed him with several ideas on how to diffuse the controversy. Despite the fact that Banton rejected every suggestion out of hand, the LGBT advocates hailed it as a “good first step.” Karen Ocamb found that hard to take:
And now that photo op, glowing press from the SF Weekly, and a few quotes from Dufty and Petrelis about how this was a “good first step” are being used by Banton’s PR team to put a crack in the wall of what up to this point has been a successful boycott with promoters cancelling concerts. That pictures made newspapers, TV stations and blogs from South Miami to Jamaica.
Karen Ocamb asked UK activist Peter Taschell for comment on the meeting. Tatchell has been at the forefront of the long-running campaign to stop murder music by asking artists to sign the Reggae Compassionate Act. Tatchell reports that Banton signed the document in 2007, only to repudiate it in the weeks following. In the email to Ocamb, Tatchell described the photo-op as “a big propaganda victory for Banton”:
Despite their reported failure to secure anything from Banton, LGBT activists agreed to allow his concert at the Rock It Room to go ahead. If true, I am stunned that Banton’s demand for a concert was conceded in exchange for nothing tangible from him.
…This meeting is a big propaganda victory for Banton. He can now use it to show that he has dialogue with the LGBT community. It will be ruthlessly exploited by his management to undermine the LGBT campaign and the concert cancellations.
Meanwhile, Banton’s tour continues:
- Oct 15: Los Angeles, CA: Rescheduled at the Cabana Club. If you’re in the LA area, the protest is tonight at 1439 Ivar Ave, Los Angeles.
- Oct 17: Solana Beach (San Diego), CA: Still on at the Belly Up, (858) 481-8040, emails for management and booking: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. A protest is being organized at the club Saturday night, at 143 S. Cedros Ave, Solana Beach.
- Oct 19: Albuquerque, NM: Still on at the Sunshine Theater, 505-764-0249.
- Oct 20: Dallas, TX: Still on at the Palm Beach Reggae Club, (214) 742-4743. This is surprising, as the club is located in the heart of the progressive and hip Deep Ellum neighborhood.
- Oct 21: Austin, TX: Still on at the Flamingo Cantina, (512) 494-9336.
- Oct 22: Houston, TX: Canceled.
- Oct 22: Katy, TX: Still on at The Red Zone, (281) 391-1155.
- Oct 24: Atlanta, GA: Still on at Center Stage, (404) 885-1365, emails for management and booking: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Oct 27: Charleston, SC: Canceled.
- Oct 28: West Melbourne, FL: NEW SHOW scheduled at Levelz, (321) 409-5385, email@example.com.
- Oct 29: Jacksonville, FL: Still on at Plush, (904) 743-1845.
- Oct 30: Tampa, FL: Canceled.
- Oct 30: St. Petersburg, FL: NEW SHOW scheduled at Janus Landing Courtyard, (727) 896-2276.
- Oct 31: Miami, FL: Still on at Reggae Bash 2009 at the James L. Knight center, along with fellow murder music performer Beenie Man. This concert is sponsored by FM103.5 The Beat.
- Nov 1: Orlando, FL: Still on at Club Destiny, (407) 351-9800, Fax (407) 351-9803.