San Bernardino Officials Opposed To Hip-Hop Concert

Officials in San Bernardino county are opposed

to "The Night Hip-Hop Stole Christmas," a concert that is to take

place Saturday (Dec. 21) at the National Orange Show Events Center.

"Some artists draw a criminal element,'

Mayor Judith Valles told the San Bernardino Sun. "I recognize that young

people like (hip-hop) and young people need a place to listen to their music.'

The event, which may draw up to as many as 5,000

people, was to host a graffiti art battle during the concert and that also has

the police concerned.

"Unfortunately, taggers leave a trail when

they come and when they go," Chief Garrett Zimmon added. Zimmons' was concerned

that the surrounding buildings in the area may be vandalized.

The graffiti battles were dropped because of

the expense of the murals, not because of city pressure organizer Peter Varady

said. Varady publishes the L.A. based Subterranean Periodical. Varady said that

he hoped to attract real artists and not taggers, saying there was a distinct

difference between the two.

Zimmons' admitted that acts of violence at hip-hop

concerts in San Bernardino were rare. Still, the Events Center is considering

boosting security from one guard per 100 attendees to two. That would be in

addition to the police presence.

"When they think of hip-hop, they think

of weed and fighting and the bad stuff," Varady said. "We promote

positive hip-hop. We have a certain crowd, people who are intellectuals, people

who go to (hear) spoken word and poetry."