LONDON – A concert by Jamaican reggae artist Buju Banton has been cancelled following protests by the local gay community, the venue said.
Banton, whose lyrics have been described as homophobic, was due to have played at the Concorde 2 venue in Brighton later on Wednesday.
“Due to unprecedented pressure from the council, members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community and the police, Concorde 2 have been left with no choice other than to cancel the Buju Banton event,” it said on its Web site.
It added that it was concerned about losing its licence were the gig to go ahead, although it defended its original decision to stage it. Brighton is considered Britain’s “gay capital”.
In a separate statement, Concorde 2 had sought to assure the local community that Banton would not perform his most notorious song “Boom Bye Bye”, written in 1992 and which describes a gay man being shot in the head.
“Over the last ten years, the name Buju Banton has become synonymous with modern reggae,” Concorde 2 said.
“Buju has metamorphosed from a rude boy/teenage phenomenon, causing controversy with the track ‘Boom Bye Bye’ (which he no longer performs in the UK) into a self assured Rastafarian deejay and singer,” it added.
In November, 2004, a venue in Milton Keynes cancelled a gig by another top Jamaican reggae artist, Sizzla Kalonji following pressure from the gay rights group Outrage!, which complained he advocated killing lesbians and gay men.