Members of England’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community were responsible for the cancellation of Buju Banton and Beenie’s Man’s separate concerts scheduled later this month, the Reuters news agency reported Wednesday.
Both Jamaican artists’ past tours have been tarnished by protests, especially following Banton’s 1992 release of the song “Boom Bye Bye” which describes the shooting of gay men while in bed.
Concorde 2, a venue located in Brighton – a coastal resort considered the “gay capital” of Britain – agreed with the LGBT community and local police that Banton’s upcoming event should be cancelled. The club faced the threat of losing its license to hold the concert.
The “violent and homophobic nature of song lyrics” among Beenie Man’s discography grabbed police attention ahead of his July 29 concert scheduled at the Bournemouth International Center, causing the other cancellation.
While in Kingston, Jamaica in July 2004, Banton allegedly entered a house with a group of men and assaulted the occupants amid shouts of homophobic slander. Police issued a warrant by September but arrested the rapper over a year after the alleged offense. Banton was acquitted in January, 2006, leaving a sting in the LGBT community which felt police had failed to assure its safety.
Although Banton had made no announcement that he would perform the song, a local authority within the Brighton & Hove city council said “the position is that tours are usually used to sell records, and all the offending tracks are still on sale.”
Banton’s concerts have been cancelled in London, Manchester, Germany and the U.S. in the past, and Beenie Man’s in London and Toronto. Fellow Jamaican DJ Sizzla has had a concert in Britain cancelled as well, according to the gay rights organization Outrage!, for violent lyrics as well.