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Misunderstanding causes cancelled DNC Public Enemy concert

by Sabine
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
Denver Post announcement

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:

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.
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