Mark Runyon | ConcertTour.org
Alan Jackson and Kid Rock will kick off SeaWorld’s “Bands, Brew & BBQ” this weekend, transgressing against the recent trend of artists dropping the show to avoid controversy over how the Orlando theme park treats its orca whales.
The concert event runs Saturdays and Sundays February 1st to March 9th.
Country star Trace Adkins pulled out this month. Other acts that have canceled include Trisha Yearwood, Willie Nelson, Cheap Trick, Heart, Barenaked Ladies, Martina McBride and 38 Special.
The mass exodus of artists from the SeaWorld event calendar came after CNN broadcast the documentary “Blackfish” in October. The film told the story of the killing of a SeaWorld trainer by an orca in 2010 and raised questions about the ethics of keeping killer whales in captivity.
In fact, the only acts who remain from the original lineup are Justin Moore and Scotty McCreery.
Online petitions and social media correspondence targeted the acts who had signed on to play at the park.
“We’re disappointed a small group of misinformed individuals was able to deny fans what would have been great concerts at SeaWorld,” SeaWorld spokesman Nick Gollattscheck has said.
“The bands and artists have a standing invitation to visit any of our parks to see firsthand or to speak to any of our animal experts to learn for themselves how we care for animals and how little truth there is to the allegations made by animal extremist groups opposed to the zoological display of marine mammals.”
SeaWorld says the documentary neglects to touch upon the work of the park to undertake research and implement conservation efforts.
“More than 11 million people a year visit SeaWorld parks, and most will see a killer whale presentation during their visit,” said Gollattscheck.
“Over the course of our 50-year history hundreds of millions of people have experienced killer whales in our parks. There is tremendous appeal in that kind of inspirational and educational experience, and we anticipate that killer whale display will continue for generations to come.”