Music UPDATE: Buju Banton show canceled - Neumo’s letter
Neumo’s just released its official statement of its reasons for canceling the controversial Buju Banton show scheduled for tomorrow night.
From Steven Severin, one of Neumo’s (Neumo’s’s?) owners:
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. Only in this extreme situation where it appears that there is a potential of violence due to extremely heated opinions regarding the lyrical content of this artists lyrics do we take this action. To our patrons, 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 artist as controversial and overtly homophobic to the heart of capital hill we apologize.
Neumos is 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 dissension 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 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.
To keep from getting sued, the owners are paying Banton in full for the show — that amounts to the hefty hit of $15,000, according to Severin, who says the show would probably have sold out. “To some people, that may not seem like a lot of money,” says Severin, “But for a new business, we just got new owners in August, it’s a hard nut to swallow.”