The fourth annual America Safety First event scheduled for Sept. 10 landed a prize speaker for the gathering — conservative commentator Tucker Carlson. It was to honor first responders on the day before 9/11 commemorations would recognize those who gave all two decades ago.
But the rug was pulled out from under the event when Live Nation Entertainment, which some lawmakers believe is a monopoly, canceled on the organizers. It was scheduled to be held at Freedom Hill Amphitheater in Sterling Heights, Michigan.
Thousands of people were expected to be entertained by musical guests and a pair of comedians. They would also hear from the most powerful conservative political commentator in the U.S.
'Monopolistic' Live Nation accused of canceling Tucker Carlson event despite a 'final confirmation,' prompting conservatives to scramble for alternative https://t.co/pAklx0XAF3
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) September 1, 2023
Discussions were held for weeks and permission was granted by the Macomb County executive. The down payment was prepared and a tentative agreement was reached.
Organizers faced losing millions.
The Brighter Michigan PAC is the event sponsor. Chairman Eric Castiglia first received the commitment from Live Nation but said he was then told that permission had to come from Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel.
That permission was reportedly granted, but then word came from Live Nation that the company changed their policy. Organizers were told that “we’re not allowing anybody to use the facility.”
They were also told that the company didn’t “want to do a political event.” Which is an odd change, considering Live Nation organized former First Lady Michelle Obama’s book tour last year.
Thankfully the event is now being held at a location not under the control of Live Nation. It will go off as planned at Jimmy John’s Field in Utica, Michigan.
Still, those jilted by the last-second cancellation are considering legal action. They are also speaking out against the group’s apparent stranglehold on venues across the country.
Because of the change of heart over alleged political concerns, the group found themselves weeks behind in ticket sales. Deposits for entertainers were already paid, and the eminently worthwhile event could have fallen apart without a venue.
Event co-chair Kevin Rinke took strong exception to the cancellation. “People have the right to be heard and to attend to educate themselves. And you can’t have businesses directly or indirectly restricting those rights. That’s not how our country works.”