Minneapolis’ famed First Avenue cancelled Dave Chappelle’s show at the historic venue.
Dave Chappelle was scheduled to perform at First Avenue on Wednesday night (July 20). The venue axed the event and apologized following backlash over the comic’s history of transphobic jokes.
“The Dave Chappelle show tonight at First Avenue has been cancelled and is moving to the Varsity Theater,” the venue announced. “To staff, artists and our community, we hear you and we are sorry. We know we must hold ourselves to the highest standards, and we know we let you down. We are not just a black box with people in it, and we understand that First Ave is not just a room, but meaningful beyond our walls.”
First Avenue, known for its association with Prince, has a code of conduct that prohibits transphobic language. Outraged observers called out the venue for being hypocritical by booking Dave Chappelle.
“The First Avenue team and you have worked hard to make our venues the safest spaces in the country, and we will continue with that mission,” the venue said in its apology. “We believe in diverse voices and the freedom of artistic expression, but in honoring that, we lost sight of the impact this would have. We know there are some who will not agree with this decision; you are welcome to send feedback.”
Dave Chappelle’s Wednesday show was moved to the Varsity Theater, where he’s also scheduled to perform on Thursday (July 21) and Friday (July 22). First Avenue ticketholders were sent emails to transfer their tickets.