Promoter, Police Clash Over Concert
Promoter Jade Nielsen said local officials tried to force him to double his security staffing plans for a June 14 show at the Kato Entertainment Center, a privately-owned club. Nielsen considered the security requirements prohibitive.
“About 10 to 14 days out from the day of the show, they (local officials) decided there were some security minimums and I disbelieve that. They wanted to make it as tough as possible to make this show happen,” Neilsen told Pollstar.
“The mayor’s office received phone calls as soon as the event was announced; there were letters to editor and stories in the local paper, so it was at least partially political. It had some bearing on what they chose as minimums. It was overboard. Trying to stop a show like that from happening is censorship in a way.”
The minimums reportedly required 20 security guards inside the venue and at least six uniformed police outside the venue to handle parking lot and traffic control. About 450 tickets had been sold for the ICP show prior to the June 12 cancellation.
Neilsen pointed out he has booked the controversal group in other similar-sized, midwestern venues without incident.
Mankato Public Safety Director Jim Franklin took issue with Nielson’s claims, and accused Neilsen of poor planning.
Franklin told Pollstar the censorship issue was “pure poppycock. Content is not the issue here.” Franklin charged Nielsen with failing to communicate with the Public Safety department.
“The promoter never filed a security plan. He gave us two paragraphs and after three conversations over the issue, he said ‘piss on it, we’re canceling.’ We’d been made out to be the bad guys and we knew it.
“We have someone from out of town coming in and not wanting to do business the way everyone does, and he doesn’t want to share information. We couldn’t even get a ticket count to estimate security needs,” he said.
Neilsen said he had submitted a full-page report, including referrals to venues that had hosted previous ICP shows, but the Public Safety department had disregarded them.