Festival Boss Feared Protests Over TED NUGENT's Race Remarks

John S. Hausman of The Muskegon Chronicle has issued the following report:

Muskegon Summer Celebration officials canceled rocker Ted Nugent's scheduled June 2003 concert chiefly because they feared protests that might disrupt the family-oriented festival and damage it for years.

That statement of the main reason for the Nugent cancellation, unmentioned in festival publicity at the time, came on the witness stand Wednesday (March 30) from festival Executive Director Joe Austin.

Austin was testifying in the trial of Nugent's lawsuit against the festival for alleged breach of contract, unfair competition and unjust enrichment. The Summer Celebration board of trustees canceled Nugent's performance after a local controversy erupted over news reports about Nugent's use of words widely considered racial or national slurs during a Denver live radio interview.

"I had grave concern over security issues if protests were to take place at Muskegon Summer Celebration," Austin testified.

"My No. 1 concern throughout this was the continued rumblings I heard of protests," Austin said. "It could have marred the festival for years to come. I always have to consider worst-case scenarios."

At the time of the cancellation, festival official did not mention security fears as the reason.

Read more at The Muskegon Chronicle.

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