Gay country singer cancels as headliner at hometown show after questions raised about performance

Gay country singer Adam Mac, a self-described “musical, mystical, spiritual guide through the wild world of homosexuality,” announced Thursday on social media that he will not be headlining at his Kentucky hometown’s annual Logan County Tobacco & Heritage Festival on October 14th, after Russellville residents voiced their concerns and threatened to protest the event.

Mac, whose debut music video for “Disco Cowboy” topped the CMT Music 12-Pack Countdown last year, told his fans, “The last 24 hours have been a bit of a whirlwind.”

“As some of you may know, the Chamber of Commerce for Russellville, Kentucky, where I’m from, announced earlier this week that I would be headlining the annual Tobacco Festival,” he explained.

Mac said he received a call from “someone who works on the board, who has been so sweet” and “was so excited to have me come down” who informed him that “there were some board members and some people in town who had some questions about what kind of performance I would be putting on at the Tobacco Festival.”

She “wanted to ensure that I would not be promoting homosexuality or sexuality in a family-friendly environment,” he said.

“I don’t really know what they expected I was going to do other than come and put on a hell of a show like we do,” Mac continued. “It was made aware to me that there were people in the town that were very upset that they would have a gay person headline the festival.”

“To know that there are people who are angry that they asked me to come and perform in a town that I was raised in for 21 years of my life,” he said. “Sure, they have the right to not listen to my music. They have the right to not come to the show. But what’s happening now is they are protesting, they’re showing up at the chamber, they have made comments online and to the chamber that they will be holding a protest at the show, which is just so disheartening.”

(Video: YouTube)

“I went back and forth all night long about what is the right thing to do,” Mac said.

“Because a part of me feels like it would be letting down the people who need to see me most there in that space and the people who just were so excited for me to come home and put on a show, it feels like I’m letting those people down,” he explained. “It also feels like, if I don’t do the show, I’m caving and letting those people win, which also, if you know me, is not something that I like to do.”

“It’s hard for me to say this,” he said, “but I think the best move forward is to cancel the show and let them book someone else who will not be as controversial, I guess. I’m really sad about it. I’m working to try and find a way to do something else to make it right. I really, really wanted to be there.”

The disappointing call came from Polly Steenbergen, executive director of the county’s Chamber of Commerce, according to WHAS 11.

“I am a parent of a 4-year-old,” Steenbergen said during a Friday radio interview. “Any performance, any movie, any kind of entertainment I’m going to put in front of my child, I’m going to question is it appropriate for their age. I think just like any other concert that we would have, that question was raised.”

It wasn’t a matter about Mac’s sexual preferences, she said, it was about “what would be appropriate.”

(Video: YouTube)

“Those questions were based on what would be appropriate and family-friendly and I have to answer all questions that are given to me,” Steenbergen said. “Those were the questions I received, so we’re trying to move forward.”

Concerned residents showed up outside the Chamber’s office following Mac’s announcement that he would be headlining the event and threatened to protest the concert, she said, noting that the festival wasn’t equipped to guarantee the singer’s safety.

“Everyone knows that Russellville City Park, we don’t have metal detectors at the entryway, we can’t ensure security for him,” she said. “I will never argue with someone’s personal safety.”

As of Thursday, Steenbergen said, the festival’s grand finale concert and fireworks show have been canceled “due to circumstances beyond our control.”

“It was completely out of our hands at that point,” she stated. “He canceled the concert portion, we decided not to rebook anyone else, nor to have the fireworks. This is such a touchy situation, we obviously can’t refill Adam Mac for that show, so we were just not going to push that any further.”

On X, some noted what they believed was the festival’s blatant “hypocrisy.”

“A family friendly event at a TOBACCO FESTIVAL??” asked one incredulous user.

“Tobacco is wholesome and they want to encourage good family values in association with cancer causing products,” said another. “A perfect time for the music artist to stand up to the tobacco industry.”


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