The NRA’s Grand Ole Night of Freedom Concert has been canceled. Country singer Jacob Bryant — the last man standing after six of the seven performers slated to perform pulled out of the show following the Uvalde school shooting — tweeted on Friday that “The show was canceled yesterday.”
The concert was to be the Saturday night entertainment at the NRA Convention held this weekend in Houston, just 300 miles east of Uvalde, Texas, where 19 students and two teachers were killed Tuesday by a gunman wielding an assault rifle.
While there has been no official statement by the NRA, Bryant’s tweet and a dead link to the concert’s webpage point to no show. An email by Rolling Stone to the NRA requesting comment went unreturned, but during the NRA Annual Meeting of Members on Saturday, the org’s president Charles Cotton told members: “We had to cancel that.”
An email sent to ticket-holders confirmed the cancellation and said a full refund would be issued. “All remaining scheduled events are still taking place,” it read. “Please join fellow Second Amendment patriots for the remainder of the this freedom-filled weekend.”
The multi-artist country concert appeared to be in jeopardy on Thursday when Don “American Pie” McLean dropped out. Larry Gatlin, a conservative country singer who’s performed at past NRA conventions and Trump rallies, followed soon after. “I cannot, in good conscience, perform at the NRA convention in Houston this weekend,” the 74-year-old said in a statement, before going on to call for background checks and ask that the NRA reconsider some of its “outdated and ill-thought-out positions regarding firearms.”
Lee Greenwood, Danielle Peck, T. Graham Brown, and Larry Stewart of the band Restless Heart all subsequently bailed too, leaving Bryant, an up-and-coming singer-songwriter, the lone name on the bill. After being criticized on Twitter for his scheduled appearance at the NRA’s concert, Bryant tweeted that the show was off.
Still, the NRA’s Convention carried on with speakers like the ignominious Texas senator Ted Cruz and twice-impeached former president Donald Trump. “Unlike some,” Trump said during his remarks, “I didn’t disappoint you by not showing up.”
Additional reporting by Tim Dickinson