Illinois state officials rejected a concert organizer’s bid to host an R. Kelly-headlined music festival in Springfield.
Spring Break Jam previously announced that Kelly would “host” the April 6th festival at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. However, in the aftermath of Surviving R. Kelly and the subsequent protests against the singer, state officials denied the fest’s permit due to security concerns, the Chicago Tribune reports. Another protest was scheduled for Saturday morning outside Kelly’s Chicago recording studio.
“They had just submitted an application, and unfortunately we can’t control when an organizer begins promoting an event,” Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) spokeswoman Denise Albert said after Spring Break Jam promoted the event before getting approval for the lease application for the fairground.
.Albert added that the rejected permit was due to the protests following Surviving R. Kelly and not the allegations of sexual abuse against the singer. Because of the outcry stemming from the docuseries, Spring Break Jam organizers couldn’t meet the criteria – including “Reasonably foreseeable problems with security caused by either the nature of the usage or the identity of the proposed lessee or his/her patrons” and “The welfare of the general community” – necessary to obtain the fairgrounds permit.
Tickets for Spring Break Jam were already on sale when the IDOA made its decision; the ticketing page has since been pulled down. The IDOA spokesperson said that organizers can reapply for the fairgrounds permit and receive approval if Kelly is removed from the festival’s lineup.