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U.S. | Government & Elections

Misunderstanding causes cancelled DNC Public Enemy concert
by Sabine
Thursday Aug 21st, 2008 5:27 PM
Developing situation at the DNC: the week before the Democratic National Convention, an activist concert promotion group calling themselves Mad Society Productions had approached the Recreate 68 umbrella DNC organizing group, to arrange a major concert by Public Enemy at their stage in Civic Center park. This free concert, as well as a ticketed Public Enemy concert on Monday, may be cancelled. Lead vocalist and Air America talk radio host Chuck D (a major Obama supporter) has stated that he had not been informed about performing, and will not be able to attend until Wednesday and Thursday. Details should soon emerge
On August 18th, R68 issued press releases to major newspapers announcing this event (among 22 other musical acts), and it was listed as an event in the schedule pamphlets sent to be printed so they could be passed out this weekend. As a major popular culture event for the public during the DNC week (aside from the antiwar march, and the ticketed Flobots/Rage Against the Machine concert at the Denver coliseum), this became a TV news story, and was discussed in the local newspapers.

schedule of DNC events http://recreate68.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/masterschedule.jpg
Denver Post announcement http://www.denverpost.com/commented/ci_10238094?source=commented-news

Today, after journalists tried to contact members of Public Enemy, which does not currently tour but occasionally does do minor concert appearances, it became clear that major misunderstandings had been made. The concert had never been clearly discussed with them. Chuck D will be in town on the last day of the convention, but had never been approached about doing a major public event. Reference:
http://www.denverpost.com/dnc/ci_10264782

The promoters of the Monday concert in Boulder, and the free Tuesday concert, are fairly reputable student activists with a history of putting on music events with a positive political theme. They stated that they felt they had a solid arrangement or contract with the music group. Without any inside details, it seems like this would have to either result from severe miscommunication between this promoter and the band's manager.

By Sunday, this flub will be drowned out by a flood of media coverage of other aspects of the DNC, both inside and outside the convention center. However, the downside still remains that if the major newspapers had not been able to uncover this, a huge crowd of fans may have come downtown for the free show on Tuesday. Anger could then be directed towards Recreate 68 organizers, who might be blamed for the fraudulent billing. Already, local coverage of DNC organizing in Denver seems to have this concert cancellation as a prominent news item, where Recreate 68 are being called liars. This is quite disruptive when the main focus of the DNC response will be antiwar and economic themed marches and rallies.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by soundschaotic
Thursday Aug 21st, 2008 6:51 PM
I wonder how this happened?

I don't know the mad promotion guys but it seems the best thing to do is to get the chain of events out there so people understand what happened. Otherwise, it seems like the organizers are incompetent and I don't believe that to be the case.

by Sabine
Thursday Aug 21st, 2008 7:32 PM
Yes - I decided to post this from information gathered online, precisely because the local Fox News website, and the Rocky mountain news, were blaming organizers from Recreate 68 for foisting something fraudulently on the public. In reality, R68 has been doing a super good job, they're very reasonable, talented, and experienced folks, and they weren't organizing the concert - the promoters were.
(see this - http://www.myfoxcolorado.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=7258210&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.2.1 )

However, despite how strange it would seem to be able to think that you have a concert planned, when the music group claims to not have heard of it (meaning, there is a lot more to the story), local people are claiming that the promoters are pretty dependable, ethical people. Here is an article about one of the students involved: http://www.denverpost.com/greene/ci_9628653