Gay group puts heat on Sizzla

BY SIMONE MORGAN-LINDO Observer staff reporter

Thursday, August 25, 2016

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Sizzla’s first United States tour in eight years has hit a snag. Promoters of his September 23 show at 1015 Folsom in San Francisco (SF) have switched the show to nearby Oakland after protests by a gay rights group.


The group, Queer Humboldt, launched a campaign detailing Sizzla’s previous anti-LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) statements.


Their outcry immediately put pressure on promoters at 1015 Folsom in Humboldt County, and Petaluma’s Mystic Theatre, another venue in the region Sizzla was scheduled to perform.


"We have worked to educate people on ‘murder music’ and we have had lots of success. Therefore, we will continue to educate where we can so that venue owners can understand and will not accomodate entertainers like Sizzla, who seek to bring violence upon gays and lesbians via their music," Queer Humboldt’s Todd Larsen told Splash.


"When we reached out to 1015 Folsom, which has supported the LGBTQ community for decades, to inquire as to why they booked the show, they were surprised. An employee told us he wasn’t aware of Sizzla’s anti-gay sentiments," Larsen added.


According to Larsen, he and his team are determined to educate promoters who have booked Sizzla for shows about his aggression toward gays.


"We are even very surprised that he got back his visa," he said.


1015 Folsom had advertised Sizzla’s upcoming appearance on their Instagram page. Their website shows that Andrew Luce and Vincent will replace him on September 23.


Yesterday, owners of 1015 Folsom announced through their Facebook page that the Sizzla show has been moved to a new venue.


"Due to community concerns, the San Francisco Sizzla concert at 1015 Folsom is being moved to Venue Oakland. All tickets from the SF show will be honoured at the new location. There will be a one-week window to claim a refund, closing on August 31 at 11:59 pm. Beyond that window, the show will have a no-refund policy," the post read.


Sizzla recently performed on the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival in Northern California, his first performance in the US since 2008.


He and several dancehall acts, including Buju Banton, Capleton and Beenie Man, have been targeted by gay groups in the US and Europe.

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