NYC Reggae Concert For HIV/AIDS Awareness Canceled Amid Protests

Organizer calls off show after activists claimed artists on bill expressed homophobic views in their music.

The Reggae Gold Live concert, which was intended to promote HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, has been canceled amid weeks of controversy since its announcement.

Some activists protested the inclusion of acts such as Beenie Man and T.O.K. in the show, which was set for July 18 at New York’s Webster Hall. The protesters said those two acts in particular have expressed homophobic views in their music in the past.

Foxy Brown and Wayne Wonder were also on the roster.

A statement released by LIFEbeat, the show’s organizer, reads: “While the organization’s staff and board believe very strongly in the positive purpose and intention of this event, the possibility of violence at the concert from the firestorm incited by a select group of activists makes canceling the event the only responsible action.”

LIFEbeat also said it will continue to support the LBGT community and that it didn’t want to cancel the event.

“It is very unfortunate, however, that the intended good that could result from bringing this community together around this potentially groundbreaking event will not be realized,” the statement continues. “The Caribbean-American community needs our help in bringing attention to this unspoken and often stigmatized illness.”