Harrison County

Bryan Adams backs out of Biloxi show over HB 1523

BILOXI -- Canadian rocker Bryan Adams canceled his performance Thursday at the Coast Coliseum in objection to House Bill 1523, the state's law that effective July 1 allows religious groups and some private businesses to refuse service to gay couples.

Matt McDonnell, executive director of the Coliseum, said Adams' show was an add-on to the Crawfish Music Festival that starts Thursday, and he won't be replaced.

The show was a tour stop and scheduled before the festival schedule was put together, he said.

"Our schedule that we purchased for the festival runs Friday, Saturday, Sunday," he said. Admission on Thursday night is free, as it's always been.

"We will continue with a great lineup for the 24th annual Crawfish Music Festival, rain or shine," he said. Among the acts booked for the Crawfish Festival are Travis Tritt, Neal McCoy and the North Mississippi Allstars.

Any refund to the musician will be between Adams' management and promoter Live Nation, McDonnell said.

"They're going to be sending me an official release shortly," he said. Once that happens, he said all tickets will be refunded at point of purchase.

McDonnell didn't have a count of how many tickets were sold, but at a March meeting of the Coliseum Commission he reported, "The show has hit a brick wall as far as ticket sales go. We are currently at 1,218 and need about 3,000 to break even."

Adams, who is most known for his song "Summer of '69," said in a statement that he can't "in good conscience" perform in a state where "certain people are being denied their civil rights due to their sexual orientation."

He has, however, performed concert tours in India, where it is illegal to be gay.

The move comes after Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band canceled a Sunday show in Greensboro, N.C., because of the state's new law blocking anti-discrimination rules for the LGBT community.

On Saturday, Jimmy Buffett called North Carolina's similar law "stupid," but said he and his Coral Reefer Band would honor the shows booked for Raleigh and Charlotte because "these shows were booked and sold out long before the governor signed that stupid law.

I am not going to let stupidity or bigotry trump fun for my loyal fans this year."

He went on to say, however, that future shows in North Carolina would depend on whether "that stupid law is repealed."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.