LIFEbeat and The Music Industry Fights AIDS has canceled their charity fundraiser Reggae Gold Live concert, due to alleged threats of violence.
The concert, dubbed “Reggae Gold Live 2006 Summer Jumpoff,” was to be presented by with E.A.R.S. Entertainment Group and New York’s Power 105.1 FM.
The concert was scheduled for Tuesday, July 18 at New York’s Webster Hall and was to feature reggae artists Beenie Man and rapper Foxy Brown.
Beenie Man’s show are frequently targeted by Gay and Lesbian rights groups, because of the reggae star’s lyrics, which activists say advocate the killing of homosexuals.
In the past, Beenie Man has issued apologies and renounced violence towards other human beings.
His apologies have been labeled by various groups as “hollow” and not sincere.
Wayne Wonder, TOK, Sasha and Kulcha Don were also on the bill for the July 18 event, which aimed to bring awareness to the HIV/AIDS crisis throughout the Caribbean community.
In 2003, British activists attempted to ban the singer from the country and called for the arrest Beenie Man, Elephant Man and Bounty Killer, claiming that British law allows officials to prosecute singers who encourage violence against homosexuals.
“While the organization’s staff and board believe very strongly in the positive purpose and intention of this event, the possibility of violence at the concert from the firestorm incited by a select group of activists makes canceling the event the only responsible action,” LIFEbeat said in a statement. “Dialogue is important and LIFEbeat’s staff and board respect the opinions of those who came forward to make their feelings known. We have always and will continue to support the GLBT community.”
The event was meant to raise funds to promote AIDS awareness in the Caribbean.
According to statistics, Jamaica has the third largest population living with HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean, following Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
“We hope in the wake of this decision that those who came forward and spoke out will now come forward again to do something positive for the Caribbean American community and help bring attention to the devastation this disease has wreaked in that community so awareness, prevention and healing can follow,” organizers of the LIFEbeat concert said.