Capleton Concert Cancelled in Basel After Singer Continued to Urge Violence Against Gays

BASEL, November 7, 2008 – A major reggae concert with the Jamaican singer Capleton, that had been scheduled to take place last night (6 November) in Basel, Switzerland, was cancelled at the last minute by the organisers, according to Homosexuelle Arbeitsgruppen Basel (HABS), the local LGBT rights group.

HABS, together with “Stop Murder Music Bern”, opposed the concert because Capleton has performed songs encouraging violence against lesbian and gay people, in violation of his commitment to abide by the terms of the Reggae Compassionate Act (RCA) – an agreement that he signed in early 2007, whereby he undertook to not perform “murder music” songs any more.

“Stop Murder Music Bern” was able to prove that after he signed the RCA Capleton has performed songs that incite homophobic violence, including during last year’s Christmas Extravaganza concert in Jamaica.

Capleton, a Jamaican dancehall singer, was booked to give a concert in the Kaserne, an alternative music venue in Basel, Switzerland.

Because of his act of bad faith in violating the RCA, which he signed and promised to uphold, the venue cancelled his performance.

HABS and SMM Berne are now demanding that Capleton publicly apologise and make a renewed statement in support of the rights and welfare of gay, bi and transsexual people.

“The Stop Murder Music campaign gave Capleton a chance to continue his career unimpeded if he agreed to stop inciting the murder of lesbian and gay people,” said Peter Tatchell, UK coordinator of the Stop Murder Music campaign.

“He signed the RCA and promised to abide by it. But he has carried on as before, stirring up homophobic hatred and violence. We feel tricked, betrayed and cheated.

“Congratulations to the Swiss campaigners for getting his concert pulled. Performers who promote the killing of other human beings should not be rewarded with concerts, money and stardom,” Mr. Tatchell said.

“This is the latest of scores of concert cancellations secured by our SMM activists around the world. We have targeted eight Jamaican dancehall singers whose lyrics glorify, encourage and promote the murder of lesbian and gay people. Their incitements are criminal offences.

“Our aim is to show these artists that homophobia doesn’t pay. It has a damaging financial consequence,” added Mr Tatchell.

HABS has sent an open letter to Capleton:

There is a concert planned with Capleton in Lausanne, Switzerland, tomorrow (November 8). Different Swiss organizations are now calling for cancelling this concert

In addition, more than a dozen Capleton concerts are scheduled in France, starting next week.

Different Swiss organizations are now calling for cancelling the concert in Lausanne.

Reggae Compassionate Act agreement broken – Concerts in France next week


Author: GLBTQ Jamaica Moderator

Activist and concerned gay man in Jamaica with over 19 years experience in advocacy and HIV/AIDS prevention work, LGBT DJ since 1996.

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