Downtown Brewing Co. canceled Wednesday night’s reggae performance after a number of groups voiced concerns about the performer’s anti-gay lyrics. Gay and Lesbian Alliance of the Central Coast (GALA) had planned a protest against the performance until a representative from Downtown Brewing Co. contacted the organization on Sunday night to inform them of the cancellation.
The performer was Capelton, whose real name is Clifton George Bailey III, a dancehall reggae artist from Jamaica. Some of his lyrics promote violence against the gay and lesbian community.
A community member e-mailed Downtown Brewing Co. with concerns about the performance about two weeks ago. After lots of backlash, Downtown Brewing Co. general manager Monty Schaller said they decided to cancel the performance about five days beforehand.
“It was a lose-lose situation,” Schaller said.
This is not the first time one of Capelton’s shows has been canceled this year; venues in California, Nevada and Oregon have canceled performances because of his controversial lyrics.
He was scheduled to perform at the Tribute to the Legends festival in San Diego on Feb. 15, at the Ragga Muffins festivals in Long Beach and Oakland and in Renegade Productions headlining tour.
He is still scheduled to perform in Miami for the Bob Marley Movements annual Caribbean Festival on Feb. 27.
His shows have also been canceled in previous years.
Many of the cancellations occurred when equality groups were alerted of his violation of the Reggae Compassionate Act, which he signed in 2007. The act was compiled by the group Stop Murder Music and signed by artists Beenie Man, Sizzla, Buju Banton and Capelton.
The act called for artists to follow the principles of positive vibrations, consciousness raising, social and civic engagement, democracy and freedom, peace and non-violence, mother nature, equal rights and justice, one love, individual rights, humanity, tolerance and understanding. Capelton is one of the artists who have since violated the agreement.
Some of his lyrics include,”Shoulda know seh Capleton bun battyman, Dem same fire apply to di lesbian, Seh mi bun everything from mi know seh dem gay, All boogaman and sodemites fi get killed.” This translates to “You should know that Capleton burns queers, The same fire applies to lesbians, Say I burn everything as long as I know that they’re gay, All queers and sodomites should be killed.” The lyrics are written in Jamaican patois; words like “batty man, chi chi man, funny man, fassy and faggot” are all translations for “gay.”
Representatives from GALA refused to comment.