Brighton venue issues apology over homophobic performer

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A music venue in Brighton has apologised to the LGBT community for booking a notoriously homophobic Jamaican rap artist.

The Concorde 2 live music venue, which is situated near the ‘gay village’ in Brighton’s Kemp Town area, cancelled the gig by Buju Banton on 5th July. Initially, the club was unrepentant and admitted only cancelling the concert after pressure from Brighton and Hove Council and the LGBT community.

Now, the club has changed its mind and issued an apology. Owner of the Concorde 2 Tina Haynes, who has received a large number of emails complaining about the booking, said: “Concorde 2 takes any complaint in respect of their event schedule very seriously. The management apologises unreservedly for any problems they may have caused or feelings they may have hurt through booking the Buju Banton concert.”

In 1992 Buju Banton wrote and sang a track called Boom Bye Bye, which advocates the shooting of gay men and suggests pouring acid into their faces. He is banned from performing the song in the UK, but it’s claimed the singer still performs it overseas.

Concorde 2 says the Council has issued it with a list of artists that the Council has “serious concerns” about, should they perform in Brighton. The Council calls the songs by these artists “murder music” and the list includes Buju Banton and Beenie Man. Beeenie Man, like Buju Banton, has been stopped from playing a concert in an English city. Bournemouth City Council pulled the plug after the Police presented it with a dossier of evidence.

In Brighton, Concorde 2 claims that it still booked Buju Banton to perform in complete innocence – mainly due to the fact the same artist performed at the venue three years ago without any opposition. The venue’s owner Tina Haynes told PinkNews that she was confused why there has been such a response at this booking, saying: “not much has changed within the LGBT community over the last three years, has it?” What has changed is that the campaign group OUTRage! has brought the whole issue of ‘murder music’ to everyone’s attention in the last three years.