The promoter behind the recently announced Energy Rush concert in Halifax featuring Chris Brown says the show will go on despite sponsors dropping out, the mayor's opposition and many living in the city voicing their displeasure.
"Whenever dealing with celebrities of Chris Brown's calibre, there is bound to be mixed reaction," promoter Stephen Tobin said in a press release posted on Drop Entertainment Group's Facebook page yesterday, the promoter putting on the Aug. 31 show. "For this reason, I am not at all surprised to hear there there has been some negative response generated by some people in the Halifax area. However, in our other markets, including Toronto and Winnipeg, the reaction to this announcement has been nothing short of electric and overwhelmingly positive."
Tobin also said while Drop Entertainment Group in "no way" condones Brown's "past behavior or personal endeavors" he said it was "a very slippery slope when we start trying to censor, or dictate, who can or cannot perform in this province." The statement added that those not wishing to support him or the event could do so by "simply choosing not to attend" but not impede the rights of others from seeing "this world-class performer, should they choose to do so."
As is well known, Brown was charged and plead guilty to assaulting Rihanna prior to the 2009 Grammy Awards.
The statement comes after Rogers Communications pulled its sponsorship from the concert over the weekend after learning who was headlining the concert. According to the Chronicle Herald, on Monday, Molson Coors announced it wouldn't participate in the gig slated for Alderney Landing in Dartmouth.
"We had some preliminary talks about taking part, but once we saw Friday's announcement, we decided not to become involved this year," the brewery's senior manager of corporate affairs Forest Kenney told the publication. As well a Dartmouth spa Touch of Radiance announced it was withdrawing its sponsorship also as was the Centre for Arts and Technology-Halifax was severing its sponsorship ties for the concert.
According to the Canadian Press, Halifax Mayor Mike Savage said he didn't think Brown was a "good role model for people" and added "I quite frankly wish he wasn't coming."
As for Brown's legal troubles of late, Tobin told the Chronicle Herald he's been in touch with the singer's management team and say it won't impact Brown from making the Halifax show. On Monday, a judge revoked his probation after reviewing an alleged hit-and-run in May that Brown was involved in. He wasn't ordered to jail and the case will be back in a Van Nuys, California court on July 23.
Finally, despite the negative outcry, some people have started a petition in favor of the show. A Change.org petition created by Breanna Dorrington as of Tuesday morning had 40 supporters. "The people that are hating are acting like they have never made a mistake before," a portion of the petition reads. "Also, he is coming for about 3-4 hours, people are acting like he is staying forever."
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