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Saturday 24 June 2017

Big Day Out cancels anti-gay Beenie Man

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News Staff - 15th November 2009

Following a storm of protest against the artist, the producers of Big Day Out have decided notorious anti-gay Jamaican Reggae performer Beenie Man will now not appear at the popular music festival.

Cancelled: Beenie Man
A statement from the Big Day Out's producers today says that while the concert organisers believe the controversial musician has now renounced homophobia, the storm of protest this week after the announcement that he was in the line-up means his continued involvement would prove too divisive.

"Although aware of the controversial nature of Beenie Man and his previous lyrics that have caused offence with the Gay and Lesbian and wider community, the producers understood that the artist had renounced these sentiments and no longer expresses those views," say the Big Day Out's management.

"Notwithstanding claims of a commitment to the Reggae Compassionate Act which he signed in 2007 and a promise of adherence to peaceful and humanistic values for the dates here by Beenie Man, the depth of feeling and hurt amongst these groups has convinced us that for us to proceed with his Big Day Out appearances was, and would continue to be, divisive amongst our audience members and would mar the enjoyment of the event for many.

"For this reason we have decided not to proceed," the statement concludes. understands that Beenie Man's appearance at Big Day Out dates in Sydney, the Gold Coast, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth have also been cancelled.




Midnight, Wed 11 Nov: Big Day Out's organisers announce Beenie Man as part of the line-up for its January festival.

9am, Wed 11 Nov: draws attention to Beenie Man's extreme anti-gay lyrics.

Midday, Wed 11 Nov: Anti-Beenie Man protest Facebook group set up, gains hundreds of members in a few hours, while the C4 website's Beenie Man page attracts many anti-Beenie Man comments.

9am, Thurs 12 Nov: Rainbow Youth's executive director Tom Hamilton speaks out against Beenie Man. Anti-Beenie Facebook group has 700 members.

10am, Thurs 12 Nov: Big Day Out's Kiwi promoter issues a statement saying he was not aware of Beenie Man's homophobia and will discuss the matter with the event's Aussie managers.

4.30pm, Thurs 12 Nov: Big Day Out promoters say they'll contact Beenie Man to ensure he will not feature anti-gay lyrics during his performance. Green MP Kevin Hague adds his voice to the growing protest movement, saying the Jamaican artist's BDO invite should be withdrawn.

7am, Fri 13 Nov: appears on TVOne's Breafast programme to discuss the Beenie Man controversy. The NZ Herald and Dominion Post newspapers both feature a story on the situation.

11am, Fri 13 Nov: Labour MP Charles Chauvel writes an open letter to the Associate Minister for Immigration urging her to refuse NZ entry to Beenie Man on the basis that the singer could 'incite public disorder'., along with the anti-Beenie Facebook group's founders, appear on TV3 news at Midday and 6pm.

Midday, Sun 15 Nov: The Big Day Out's management say they will no longer feature Beenie Man at January's music festival.


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