The organisers of free festival Parkpop have signed up controversial Jamaican reggae artist Beenie Man to replace US rapper Snoop Dogg who was banned from performing in order to ‘preserve the open and friendly atmosphere’.
But the new headline act has caused more controversy because according to the Telegraaf, Beenie Man was banned from The Hague two years ago for his anti-gay texts. And city councillors are already asking questions.
The Parkpop organisers say on their website that in 2007 Beenie Man signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, a petition organised by the Stop Murder Music campaign, agreeing to renounce homophobia and stop performing lyrics promoting violence against gay people.
In addition, he has agreed in the contract not to perform any anti-gay songs during next weekend’s event, the Parkpop website says.
But according to some reports, Beenie Man has denied signing the act, and has continued to perform anti-gay lyrics.
He was heavily criticised by main sponsor Pepsico for performing an anti-gay song at a reggae concert in Uganda last December and was dropped from a New Zealand festival in January following pressure from gay rights groups.
Meanwhile, The Hague’s mayor Jozias van Aartsen said on Monday the decision to ban Snoop Dogg was taken because of fears that rival gangs might attend his performance and disrupt the festival.
Snoop Dogg’s management issued a statement last week saying the rapper is astonished by the ban, pointing out that he is a regular on the European festival circuit and has never been associated with crowd trouble.
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