Saturday, August 28, 2004

REGGAE PARKED: The cancellation of Reggae in the Park is a mysterious and strange affair. The official announcement seems to suggest its something to do with the protests against homophobic reggae artists (one of whom, Vybz Kartel, was due at the event):

Due to the recent negative publicity surrounding reggae music in the UK press, no suitable alternative venue could be found that was willing to take on the perceived security risk represented by "Reggae In The Park". Therefore it is with sadness that the organisers have had to announce the cancellation of this event.

Obviously, they're referring to the work of Outrage and others in refusing to allow artists who call for the murder of gay men and women to be allowed an easy ride - although, really, we're not sure a small knot of men with placards is so much of a threat. We're wondering if attempting to blame it on "neagtive publicity surrounding reggae" is merely an excuse being cooked up by organisers to cover their failure to find a new place for the event: the original plan for Victoria Park had to be abandoned for technical reasons:

For technical reasons, "Reggae In The Park", which was due to be held at London's
Victoria Park on Sunday September 5, 2004 has now been moved to ***********. The event, brought to us by Choice FM (a Capital Radio Group PLC Company) in association with Apollo Entertainment kicks off at 12 noon and will finish at 10pm.

And with only a week to go, it would seem a little late to be finding somewhere else. It would be outrageous if the really-quite-understandable condemnation of a handful of reggae artists is being used as a cover for a failure of organisation.

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