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Will SeaWorld Bands, Brews and BBQ Be Cancelled?

In the latest negative reaction to the CNN documentary Blackfish, several artists have pulled out of performing at SeaWorld Orlando’s 2014 event Bands, Brew & Barbecue.

Country singer Willie Nelson was among the first to pull out of his scheduled performance at the BBQ with SeaWorld citing “scheduling conflicts” as the reason for the cancellation.

However, according to an interview with CNN on December 6th, Nelson made his reasons quite plain:

“I don’t agree with the way they treat their animals,” he said, “so it wasn’t that hard a deal for me to cancel.”

The Documentary

Rock and rollers Heart is the latest band to cancel their performance, citing fan opposition after a petition on Change.org that called on artists to cancel their shows at SeaWorld in light of the damaging information revealed by Blackfish.

Blackfish, which first aired in October, revealed SeaWorld’s macabre history, including the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau, who was killed by now infamous orca Tilikum in 2010.

Among other things, the documentary accused SeaWorld of covering up accidents and fatalities, egregious animal cruelty, and outright lies.

The documentary has since sparked outrage around the world, especially animal rights activists vehemently opposed to the abuse of SeaWorld’s captive killer whales.

Other artists who have cancelled their upcoming performances at SeaWorld include Barenaked Ladies, Cheap Trick, REO Speedwagon, Martina McBride, 38 Special and Trisha Yearwood.

Justin Moore and Scotty McCreer are the only acts that remain.

SeaWorld Official Statement

"While we're disappointed a small group of misinformed individuals was able to deny fans what would have been great concerts at SeaWorld, we respect the bands' decisions," SeaWorld spokesman Nick Gollattscheck said.

"We expect that other artists will be targeted in this campaign."

Seaworld's is hard at work SeaWorld currently has no plans to cancel the Bands, Brew & Barbecue weekend events where these artists were set to perform, but with more and more bands pulling out of the festival, the pressure is definitely on.

By Marie Ospina
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