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Beenie Man's UK concerts cancelled

Stop Murder Music campaign not responsible – OutRage! regrets being unable to meet Beenie Man

March 18, 2005

Beenie Man
LONDON — Jamaican dancehall star Beenie Man has cancelled his UK tour, according the BBC.

'The reasons aren't clear, but the police were involved in the decision to stop him playing in Milton Keynes and Bristol,' reported the BBC on their Radio 1 news website on 16 March 2005.

'We regret the cancellation of this tour,' said OutRage! spokesperson, Brett Lock.

'OutRage! and the Black Gay Men's Advisory Group were looking forward to meeting Beenie Man and building bridges with reggae artists. We want to work with them to explore ways that dancehall music can be a positive social force against prejudice and for the upliftment and liberation of the black nation – gay and straight.

'Although we have campaigned to have Beenie Man's concerts cancelled in the past because of his lyrical incitements to violence against gay and lesbian people, neither OutRage! nor the Stop Murder Music campaign has anything to do with these concert cancellations.

'This can be confirmed by contacting Glen Yearwood (PR for the key reggae concert promoters), or Chief Inspector Clive Driscoll.

'The BBC report that Beenie Man is keeping a low profile after another dancehall performer was shot dead recently in Jamaica. We understand this may be the reason for his tour being called off. There were, apparently, threats to kill Beenie Man following this murder. We are told these threats led to security concerns regarding his UK tour,' added Mr Lock

'In January, the Stop Murder Music (SMM) campaign came to an understanding with the Jamaican music industry, including the major record companies and promoters, who promised to regulate the industry from within to prevent the release of violently homophobic records.

'We intend to honour the agreement with the industry and we hope that reggae music fans understand that Beenie Man's concert cancellations were not called for by us, nor does it have anything to do with the lyrics inciting the murder of lesbian and gay people,' said Mr Lock.

Peter Tatchell, of OutRage! and the SMM campaign, who was one of the people who helped negotiate the agreement, added: 'We hope this agreement is the beginning of a new era in reggae music, where the artists rekindle the spirit of one love, peace, unity, brotherhood and social justice promoted by reggae pioneers like Bob Marley, U-Roy, Delroy Washington, Mighty Diamonds, Burning Spear and Toots and the Maytals.'

Earlier this month, a Beenie Man show in Ghana was called off over logistical difficulties and an apparent contractual misunderstanding. – OutRage!

Related stories
Reggae star under police investigation [17/08/2004]



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