SALEM (CBS) – When Gordon College agreed to allow an acoustic act to book the school-managed Old Town Hall historical building in Salem, officials at the small Christian college admit they didn’t know what they were getting into.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports
Protest emails and phone calls poured into school officials, eventually raising enough concerns that they decided to cancel the sold-out concert that was scheduled for Thursday, September 19.
The show was supposed to feature the band Death in June, a controversial two-piece act that has been accused by some groups of being neo-fascist, an allegation that the band denies. The group reportedly uses fascist and Nazi symbols on their albums and during their stage shows.
On Friday evening, the school announced it was cancelling the rental agreement with the show’s organizer, saying the rental agreement allows them to cancel a reservation “under extenuating circumstances.”
“This decision is based on several factors that came to light this week after we learned the name of the band performing and the reputation for unrest that has accompanied many of their performances. These include reports of vandalism associated with Death in June’s most recent concerts on the West Coast. Additionally, negative feedback regarding the show and threats to disrupt it have come to the attention of Salem police and suggest that even heightened security will not be sufficient to forestall or avoid damage to this historic building,” a statement from the school read. “In the interest of both public safety and in our primary responsibility to protect the integrity of an historic property, we do not believe an historic site such as Old Town Hall is the appropriate venue for this performance.”
The school says the promoter will receive a refund for the deposit.
The band and its promoter could not immediately be reached for comment.