NZ Festivals: Echo Axed, Raggamuffin Drops Beenie Man

The inaugural Echo Music in Auckland Jan. 11-12 was axed thanks to low ticket sales.

This was despite a bill with DisclosureThe Flaming LipsJamie xxCourtney BarnettMac DeMarco, and Kurt Vile. The event was previously known as McLaren Falls after its Bay of Plenty location. But after complaints from residents, promoter Paxton Talbot moved it to  in Auckland with a name change. 

Jamaica’s Beenie Man was dropped from Raggamuffin due to concerns from the country’s gay community about the act’s previous homophobic comments and lyrics.

Raggamuffin spokesperson Brotha D said Beenie Man was booked because he had retracted his comments. When approached by GayNZ, “We took the concerns of the gay community very seriously and sought to address them with Beenie Man.”

When the act did not respond to an invitation to clarify his attitudes, he was dropped from the Feb. 20 event at , Auckland.

Other artists on the Raggamuffin bill include The GameMacy GrayXzibit and Eddy Grant.

Promoters Petra and Carl Naus were fined NZ $5,000 ($3,278) for holding the Chronophonium festival in January 2015 without permission from the Thames Coromandel District Council, and for not turning down the volume after complaints.

Latest additions to WOMAD NZ 2016 are De La Soul, French producer , Korean duo [su?m] and Hindi film soundtrack singer Asha Bhosle. The festival is March 18-20 at TSB Bowl of Brooklands, Taranaki.