Alan Jackson, Kid Rock Set to Kick Off Controversial SeaWorld Performances
They are the first two acts scheduled to perform as part of the aquatic park's Bands, Brew & BBQ series, which opens on Saturday (Feb. 1).
A number of artists have pulled out of planned gigs at SeaWorld in the wake of the controversy inspired by ‘Blackfish,’ a documentary that raises questions about whether it is humane to keep whales in captivity, and how that has impacted the safety of the organization’s trainers and performers.
Artists who have canceled shows include Trace Adkins, Martina McBride, Trisha Yearwood, Willie Nelson, Cheap Trick, Heart and Barenaked Ladies. Many of them pulled out after being specifically targeted in online petitions and social media postings.
SeaWorld has consistently denied the allegations made in the film.
"We're disappointed a small group of misinformed individuals was able to deny fans what would have been great concerts at SeaWorld," spokesman Nick Gollattscheck says (quote via CNN).
"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."
Jackson is scheduled to perform on Feb. 1, and Kid Rock will follow on Feb. 2.
According to CNN, Scotty McCreery and Justin Moore remain on the upcoming schedule. No date is listed on Moore’s official website. McCreery is scheduled for March 1. Representatives for both artists did not respond to CNN's requests for comment.