By Scott T. Sterling
Rocker and unabashed conservative Ted Nugent was originally booked to perform a 4th of July concert in Longview, Texas. He has now been paid $16,250 to not even show up.
According to the Longview News-Journal, Nugent’s presence first became an issue after Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott endured the heat of accepting the controversial rocker’s endorsement, causing the organizers of the Longview event to rethink the booking.
“(There were) a variety of reasons. Cost, structure, is it the right musical act for this type of event — a city-sponsored, family-oriented overall event,” said Longview spokesperson Shawn Hara of the cancellation for the Fireworks and Freedom Celebration at Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center. “They decided no, we don’t want to move forward, it is not the right act for this. At that point we decided to end discussions.”
Considering how far along festival organizers were in booking Nugent, they had no choice but to pay up the $16,250 — a little more than half of Nugent’s $32,000 performance fee — to rectify the errant booking.
“That didn’t really fit what we trying to put together, a family oriented program … and I confirmed with [City Manager David Willard’s] thoughts that probably wasn’t the right act,” said the city’s Mayor Jay Dean. “And I still feel that it was the right decision. It just didn’t fit with what we were trying to put together.”
Nugent has been under fire for recent controversial statements, including slurs directed at President Barack Obama.