Archive for The National

City Council Member Responding to Buju Banton Show

Posted in News & Views with tags , , , on September 6, 2009 by GayRVA

BujuFacebook comments are still flowing about Buju.  A reader sent us his e-mail to Richmond City Councilwoman Ellen Robertson with her response.  She copied the Chief of Police and the Mayor’s office to setup a meeting regarding the National’s show.

Good morning Ms. Robertson;

I am writing to you today for the same reason that I am sure you have received many other emails, to express my discomfort and anger towards the upcoming Buju Banton concert at The National, in downtown Richmond. As a tax payer, Richmond business supporter, gay man, and someone who cares for this city – my stomach is in knots that this type of show is being help in my city.

I do believe that all people have the right of freedom of speech. I also believe that those who do not agree with homosexuality have the right to share the discussion. What I do not believe in, is paying someone and endorsing an act (which by having him perform at the National and doing any types of advertising they are endorsing him) that goes beyond freedom of speech to the call of violence and death against members of the human race, is not acceptable and bad business.

What I also fear is that if this concert does happen that the protest that occurs (and there will be a protest of this show) will turn violent. Richmond does not need that type of media attention, nor does the National, which has always allowed diverse acts perform. I also fear for the National after the show. This concert has struck a chord in the greater Richmond area – moving far beyond just the gay community. There has already been damage done to the reputation of the National – people have already decided to boycott the theater. It only makes me sad to think of the boycott/ reaction that occurs if the theater does not cancel this show.

Thank you for your time. I hope that you are able to speak with the people at the National to let them know that this concert is unacceptable and that it has outraged the people of our city.

The following was Robertson’s response:

I cannot afford to set and allow this group to come to town. I will be asking the Chief of Police to meet with me and the owners of the National to address the urgency of this matter. By way of this email, John will follow up with the Mayor and Chief to coordinate a meeting.


National’s Facebook Page Flooding with Comments

Posted in News & Views with tags , , on September 5, 2009 by GayRVA


As soon as the “Cancel Buju Banton…” page went live, Facebookers hopped over to the National’s page to express their opinion.  The admin had been deleting comments, but stopped at the time of this posting.

What people are saying…

“You deleted everybody’s concerns and then went as far as to post an offensive defense to Buju Banton. On top of all of this, their show is on Richmond Gay Pride anniversary day. How insulting!”

“Should Buju Banton be allowed to perform? Freedom of speech is a great good and a right in this country. However, there is a greater good of protecting the people as a whole. It is the government’s responsibilty to protect the people. His messages have a great enough potential to cause harm, and it’s our duty for the greater good to not allow him to play. Thus, his speech is not his right becuase of the potential harm it could cause. Do we have to wait for someone to die before we can prove the harm? That is what our law would dictate. I do not want our community to be the place where it could be proven. Please consider your responsibility to our community.”

Continue reading

Cancel Buju Banton Group Created on Facebook

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on September 4, 2009 by GayRVA

Buju BantonCommunity organizers have created a Facebook group called “Cancel Buju Banton ‘Faggots Must Die’ Shows in Virginia” in response to Buju Banton’s scheduled appearance at the National on September 26.  September 26 also happens to be the 25th anniversary of gay pride being held in Virginia.  GayRVA has contacted Rising Tide Productions and has not yet received a response.

At the time of this posting, the group already had 363 members that have been encouraged to call The National and Rising Tide Productions to express their opinion.

From the Facebook group:

Rising Tide Productions has scheduled a Buju Banton
concert at the The National Theater in Richmond Sept 26 and at the Norva in Norfolk Sept 25. The Richmond date coincides with Richmond’s 25th Anniversary Pride Festival.

Buju Banton is a Jamaican reggae singer who in a twenty-year career has repeatedly called for the maiming and murder of gay men. Banton’s song Boom Bye Bye proposed pouring acid on gays and shooting them in the head. Other lyrics state “Anytime Buju Banton come, faggots get up and run … they have to die.”

Communities across the country have demanded the cancellation of Banton’s performances and in major markets like Los Angeles, promoters Live Nation and AEG Live/Goldenvoice have complied. Smaller cities like Richmond remain on Banton’s tour schedule, and the Richmond LGBT community demands that Banton’s local promoters show Central Virginia’s residents the same consideration shown by promoters in larger markets.

“In Buju Banton’s native Jamaica, anti-gay violence is rife and typically tolerated by the authorities. Gay sex is punishable by 10 years in prison. Buju Banton both feeds off of and encourages this violence. As Passport magazine reported,”When [Human Rights Watch researcher Rebecca] Schleifer visited Jamaica in 2004, Brian Williamson, the country’s leading gay activist, was violently chopped to death with a machete in his apartment in Kingston. Schleifer walked to his street shortly after the murder and found a crowd of people gathered outside Williamson’s apartment singing and celebrating his murder and shouting the chorus of ‘Boom Bye Bye,’ a popular Buju Banton dancehall hit about shooting gay men: ‘Boom bye bye, in a faggot’s head. Rude boys don’t promote nasty men, they have to die.’ Others were laughing and yelling, ‘Let’s get them one at a time,’ and, ‘That’s what you get for sin.'””

While we support free speech, we condemn hate filled, murder inciting music. This performer does not meet Richmond’s community standards.

Rising Tide Productions needs to cancel these shows
Rising Tide 757-622-9877
National Theater 804-612-1900
Norva Theater 757-627-4547

Buju Banton’s Shows Cancelled Across Nation, Scheduled to Play Richmond

Posted in Arts & Entertainment with tags , on August 31, 2009 by GayRVA

Buju BantonLast week, the LA Gay & Community Center sent out this press release announcing the cancellation of Jamaican reggae artist Buju Banton’s shows in several cities by Live Nation and AEG Live:

Through his music, Banton promotes a culture of violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, singing in his most notorious song “Boom, Bye Bye” that “faggots get up and run” when he comes, that “they have to die,” and that he will shoot them in the head or “burn them up bad.”

“In his home country of Jamaica, Banton and his fellow performers of ‘murder music,’ have helped to create and sustain a culture in which violence against LGBT people is not only tolerated, it’s sometimes celebrated,” said L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Chief Executive Officer Lorri L. Jean. “The Center is an ardent supporter of free speech and artistic expression, but we cannot–and will not–tolerate speech in any form that promotes violence against LGBT people.”

Tickets are still available to some of these shows through Ticketmaster including a date scheduled for The National on September 26.

Margaret Cho Returns to Richmond

Posted in Arts & Entertainment with tags , , on July 7, 2009 by GayRVA


Via Twitter, Margaret Cho announced her tour dates and she’ll be performing at the National on September 19 at 8 p.m.  Tickets are $25 and go on sale this Friday.  More information is available on Cho’s tour website.

Lady GaGa Postponed

Posted in Arts & Entertainment with tags , on April 1, 2009 by GayRVA

Lady GagaIs this a cruel April Fools joke?  We’re a little heartbroken because Friday’s show at the National has been postponed.  Here’s what’s been posted on the theater’s website:

Due to her West Coast American Idol appearance (tonight) April 1st and her exhaustive schedule, the Lady Gaga show scheduled for THIS Friday April 3rd has been postponed. The new date will be announced soon. All tickets purchased at Etix, Plan 9, BK Music, and Ticketmaster will be honored on the new date.

THE WHITE TIE AFFAIR Will Be Performing THIS Friday April 3rd at 8pm. Tickets are $5 available at The National Box Office the night of the show only. All Lady Gaga Ticket holders will get in FREE. Ticket holders will be able to keep their LADY GAGA ticket for use on the future date.

Gear-up for GaGa: Make Your Own Disco Stick

Posted in Arts & Entertainment with tags , , , , on March 30, 2009 by GayRVA

Lady GaGaToad’s Place sadly closed up shop because someone forgot to pay the rent.  We rather liked the venue.  Fortunately, the pop music Gods are shining down on us and The National picked up Lady GaGa’s show this Friday, April 3.   The sold-out show is going to be the gayest thing to hit Richmond since Margeret Cho came to the Byrd last year, so we’re here to make sure you’re ready.   And yeah, we’ll be tweeting live.

In honor of the “Just Dance” disco diva, we’ve created this handy tutorial so you can make your very own bejeweled pimp canes for the show.  We may not be able to take them into the venue and they may be confiscated, but they sure are sparkly!

For this project, raid Lowe’s, the Dollar Tree, and your craft store of choice to obtain the following:

  • Hot Glue Gun
  • LED Light
  • Clear Plastic Christmas Ornament Ball
  • Assorted Clear Beads & Crystals
  • Black PVC Pipe/Precut 2′
  • A Candle

discostick_1We didn’t have access to a drill, and while this was probably a fire hazard and released toxic fumes, we melted two 3/4″ holes into the ornament ball.  Be careful.
discostick_2Then, we hot-glued the LED Light into one of the holes so that the flashlight button was still accessible.
discostick_3We began bejeweling the sphere by hot-gluing the larger crystals.  We added beads to fill in the gaps.  You can also use tacky glue for this part, but it takes longer to dry.
discostick_4After you have covered most of the plastic ball, glue on the PVC securely with hot glue.  Then you can add any extra pizazz you see fit.
discostick_5Ta-daa!  Charlie’s ready for the show.
discostick_6Wow…look how bright that is.  See you Friday!