Festival Cancels R. Kelly’s Headlining Appearance After Community Backlash
By Shannon Carlin
The inaugural festival, which is the first fest to combine music and fashion, and will take place over Labor Day weekend, along with Kelly released a joint statement yesterday (July 28) saying they had come to a “mutual decision to cancel Kelly’s upcoming performance.”
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Questions of Kelly’s booking arose last week after the local folk-rock band Saintseneca announced they would be withdrawing from the festival, according to the website, Columbus Alive. On Monday, local radio station WCBE 90.5 FM also announced it would be ending its sponsorship of the event. Both cited Kelly’s history of sexual violence as their reason for parting with the fest. Kelly was acquitted on charges of making child pornography in 2008.
The festival’s communications director told Columbus Alive that organizers decided to part ways with Kelly on Friday, July 25 following a month of “internal conversation” that actually began when the local duo, Damn the Witch Siren raised concerns and eventually took themselves off the bill, the first band to do so.