Sacramento country bar cancels controversial shows after uproar from LGBTQ community

Goldfield Trading Post has canceled both Adam Calhoun and Demun Jones’ controversial shows scheduled for June 7 and 8, the midtown Sacramento country bar announced in a Facebook post.

Calhoun and to a lesser extent Jones have posted videos or released songs many feel disparage the LGBTQ community and people of color. Goldfield was pressured to cancel the “hick-hop” rappers’ planned appearances, which were scheduled to fall during the Sacramento LGBT Community Center’s Pride weekend, after a burgeoning protest picked up speed Tuesday.

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“Over the past few days we have spoken to, but more importantly listened to, the community that we are very proud to be a part of,” Goldfield’s Facebook post read. “After hearing all of your concerns and feedback we have decided to go ahead and cancel the upcoming Adam Calhoun and Demun Jones shows. We apologize for the angst that booking these shows has caused many members of the community, and wish everyone a wonderful weekend in this great city of ours.”

Goldfield co-owner Bret Bair had previously defended Calhoun and Jones’ appearance, noting that artists often release content disagreeable to the general public. Both shows had sold out, proof that Calhoun and Jones’ music resonated with a segment of the Sacramento area, Bair said.

But in-the-know artists, bars and Sacramento residents began voicing their displeasure online, and the controversy picked up fomenting after The Sacramento Bee reported on it Tuesday afternoon. City Councilman Steve Hansen, who represents midtown and is the city’s first openly-gay council member, called on Goldfield to cancel the Friday and Saturday night concerts via Twitter on Tuesday. The LGBT advocacy group “Love Is Love” was also organizing protests of both shows.

In a Facebook post Tuesday afternoon, the Sacramento LGBT Community Center encouraged followers to vote with their dollars and patronize organizations such as The Snug instead. The center is hosting the two-day Pride festival on Capitol Mall headlined by Lizzo, whose single “Truth Hurts” peaked at No. 38 on the Billboard Hot 200 list Tuesday.

“It is disheartening to know that local establishments would like to profit and support the content that this musical duo spew in their racist, homophobic, misogynistic, and xenophobic lyrics at all, let alone during the SacPride weekend celebration,” the post said.

“While folks have every right to create and support any music they want, we rest a little bit easier knowing that more than 22,000 people are choosing to uplift and support local, queer, inclusive and supportive artists at Capitol Mall over the minority of folks who are attending the Adam Calhoun and Demun Jones shows.”

Thirteen Yelp users left one-star reviews on Goldfield’s page Tuesday and Wednesday morning, and Facebook reviews were disabled after negative feedback.

Goldfield had previously apologized for the timing of Calhoun and Jones’ concerts in a now-deleted post Tuesday evening, but maintained that the shows would go on.

“It’s unrealistic to expect everyone to be supportive, or be a fan, of all the artists that grace our stage,” the post read. “If you do not agree with Mr. (Jones’) and Mr. Calhoun’s political views and would like to protest the show, that is your right to do so. If you would like to protest Goldfield Trading Post, that is your right to do so. Protest creates conversation, and conversation is how we will make this world a better place for all of us to live in.”

Anyone who bought tickets to either show will be refunded within 48 hours, Bair said.

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Benjy Egel covers local restaurants and bars for The Sacramento Bee as well as general breaking news and investigative projects. A Sacramento native, he previously covered business for the Amarillo Globe-News in Texas.