Queer country singer Adam Mac has canceled an upcoming performance at a Kentucky festival after members of the community said they intended to protest the show.
Mac made the announcement that he was pulling out of the headlining spot at the upcoming Logan County Kentucky Tobacco and Heritage Festival in Russellville, Kentucky, via his official TikTok account on Thursday.
“I’m trying to mature here and realize I can just walk away from the parts of this that no longer make me happy.”
“This is not the video that I thought I’d be making today, but here we are,” Mac, a Russellville native, said. “The last 24 hours have been a bit of a whirlwind.”
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He went on to explain that after the festival announced that he would be headlining the event, a member of the Logan County Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the festivities, called to let him know that “questions” had been raised about his performance.
“She explained to me that there were some board members and some people in town who had questions about what kind of performance I would be putting on at the Tobacco Festival, and 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 gonna do other than just come and put on a hell of a show like we do.”
Mac said he was told that there were people who were “very upset” that an openly gay artist would be headlining the festival, and that they had made it known to the Chamber of Commerce that they intended to protest his performance. He called the news “disheartening.”
“I went back and forth all night long about, what is the right thing to do?” he explained. “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. 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.”
Ultimately, Mac said, he decided that the best way to move forward was to pull out of the festival and allow organizers to book a less “controversial” act.
“I’m really sad about it. I’m working on trying to figure out a way to do something else to make it right,” he said. “I really, really wanted to be there.”
On Thursday, the Logan County Chamber of Commerce announced via a Facebook post that the festival’s October 14 Grand Finale Concert and Fireworks had been canceled “due to circumstances beyond our control.”
Earlier this year, Kentucky’s Republican-led legislature overrode Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto of a sweeping anti-LGBTQ+ bill banning discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation at all grade levels, as well as banning gender-affirming care for minors, among other anti-trans restrictions.