It’s an unusual case of a government official weighing in on programming in a venue it leases out. The Maryland building, which is owned by Montgomery County and leased to Live Nation, is to host Molotov Aug. 26.
The rental agreement doesn’t give Montgomery officials any say in the content of the bookings. But that didn’t prevent Leggett from writing in a letter to Fillmore GM Stephanie Steele that he has serious concerns about the booking and is “personally offended” by Molotov’s lyrics. “I understand that the First Amendment provides for freedom of speech, and that even distasteful speech may be protest speech,” he wrote, while arguing the song in question “verges on hate speech or completely crosses that line.”
The contact by Leggett appears to be a first, despite previous Fillmore bookings by such artists as Ted Nugent, Guns N’ Roses, and rappers Big Sean, Young Jeezy and
Fillmore spokesman Jim Yeager said Molotov has performed many times in the U.S. without protest, and the booking – as headliner of the Jagermeister Music Tour – will not be canceled. “The Fillmore presents a wide variety of music, comedy and other entertainment for a demographic that makes up a diverse community,” Yeager said. “The views expressed by all of our acts are not necessarily shared by the venue or staff.”