Video posted on the Reggae on the River website.
# # #
Below is a statement from Justin Crellin, general manager of the Mateel Community Center, regarding the booking of anti-gay Jamaican performer Sizzla as a headliner at this weekend’s Reggae on the River:
Please note that Sizzla has been booked on the show since we first announced the line-up over 5 months ago- and we received no concerns about him being on the bill until very recently — despite a great deal of local publicity.
That said, we now recognize there are concerns within the community about his appearance on the show. We have an assurance from management that no derogatory speech will occur and have protocol in place to pull the plug on his performance should anything like this happen.
We will also be posting a values statement at our artist merchandise booth and will be talking from the stage (and in our press tent) encouraging our audience to sign this document with the intent to share it with his management and send a message about where we stand as a community and to underscore what we expect from our artists — with the ultimate goal of fostering real dialogue on an issue that is sadly pervasive in Jamaican culture.
To this end, we will also be utilizing funds from our 2016 Ambassador Program — which funnels 10 percent of funds from our Ambassador ticket sales to global charities related to reggae culture — to directly support the work of an NPO [nonprofit organization] in Jamaica that is working to combat this issue and foster tolerance and understanding regarding the LGBTQ community.
I hope this helps answer some of your questions…
Note: The Outpost has sent Crellin a list of follow-up questions. We will update this post if and when we receive a response.