Harrison County

Gulfport kills Lil Boosie outdoor concert; show will go on inside

BILL HABER/ASSOCIATED PRESS/2014 
 Rapper Lil Boosie appears at a news conference in New Orleans in 2014. Lil Boosie and the entire Trill Fam will perform April 8 at Club Illusion II, but the crowd will be much smaller than the club's owner hoped because the city of Gulfport would not grant a variance from the noise ordinance for an outdoor concert.
BILL HABER/ASSOCIATED PRESS/2014 Rapper Lil Boosie appears at a news conference in New Orleans in 2014. Lil Boosie and the entire Trill Fam will perform April 8 at Club Illusion II, but the crowd will be much smaller than the club's owner hoped because the city of Gulfport would not grant a variance from the noise ordinance for an outdoor concert. AP

Gulfport kills Lil Boosie concert outdoors

GULFPORT -- Lil Boosie will be playing on the Coast for Black Beach Weekend, just not outside.

Club Illusion Two owner George Bush is pretty frustrated over the City Council's vote Tuesday to deny him a noise-ordinance variance so he could host Lil Boosie and Fam on April 9. Bush planned an outdoor concert from 6-8 p.m. featuring 1,000 pounds of crawfish and shrimp.

In a 4-3 vote, the council denied Bush a variance. Ella Holmes-Hines, who represents Ward 3 where Club Illusion is located, was dead-set against the outdoor show. Voting with her were council members R. Lee Flowers, Cara Pucheu and Ricky Dombrowski.

"I have to represent the people who live there and they have endured a lot," Holmes-Hines said. "I'm sorry he didn't decide to use the Coliseum or Jones Park. Jones Park is not near residences. There's a lot of homes around Club Illusion."

Police Chief Leonard Papania told the council that in 2015 and the first quarter of 2016, 38 percent of calls for service in the vicinity -- a total of 85 calls -- involved Club Illusion.

Bush said he has tried to compromise with the city, but the city is not willing to work with him. However, he said, Mayor Billy Hewes and Chief Administrative Officer John Kelly have been supportive. Bush said he has cut back hours at the club on Thursdays and Saturdays, and no longer opens on Fridays.

"When you do everything right and you try doing it the right way," Bush said, "and then you have to fight people who are supposed to be there for you, right is right and wrong is wrong. This is wrong."

He expected about 1,100 people at the outdoor show, including children. He will now move the show indoors, where his capacity is 528, The indoor show will start at midnight. Tickets are $80.

He said Lil Boosie and the entire Trill Fam of rappers will perform: Webbie, Foxx, Big Head, B Will. Bush said he talked to Lil Boosie, who even agreed to eliminate curse words from the show for the outdoor concert with children.

This is not the first time Lil Boosie has been turned away from an outdoor venue in Gulfport.

In May 2014, the city shut down plans for a Lil Boosie concert at a North Gulfport ball field with homes nearby, saying the noise ordinance would be violated. The show went on then, too, moving to Club Envy just west of downtown.

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