Claim Filed For Canceled Concert

City officials may be on the hook for allegedly putting a stop to plans for a benefit concert featuring hip-hop artists in the Central California farming town of Visalia last spring.

The promoter and an artist are now asking that the city pay thousands in compensation for the canceled show and moving it to nearby Fresno.

Rapper Sole Profit, whose real name is Cameron McClure, and promoter Bonnie Gomez-Thompson, who does business as Reel Talk Entertainment, filed separate claims June 14th against the city over the show scheduled March 11th to benefit Visalia Emergency Aid, according to The Fresno Bee.

The show was eventually moved to Fresno at a later date after the local chief of police publicly commented that a show marketed to “a redneck audience” would have a better chance of success in Visalia. The remarks were construed as racist, and sparked a demonstration and march in the city’s downtown before Visalia Emergency Aid withdrew its support.

In their claims, McClure and Gomez-Thompson say unfounded police fears about gang violence caused city officials to interfere with arrangements between Visalia Emergency Aid and Reel Talk for the “Hip Hop for Hunger” concert. The charity reportedly canceled its date and refused to allow Reel Talk to take it over, according to the Bee.

The benefit was then moved to the Fresno Convention Center with rapper E-40 headlining, where it took place without incident.

McClure’s claim reportedly alleges the city “shut down the concert once they realized it was going to be successful,” and seeks $100,000 in damages for lost merch sales, lost wages and lost career opportunity.

“A major record company interested in me pulled out because of the cancellation,” McClure told the paper.

An attorney who represents Gomez-Thompson told the Bee that Reel Talk had already contracted with E-40 for the Visalia show, sold about 1,500 tickets to the concert and spent thousands to promote it.

“If [the city’s] response is not satisfactory, we will file a lawsuit,” attorney Douglas Hurt told the paper.