‘Racist, Homophobic’ Threats Force Postponement Of Dionne Warwick ‘Night Of Class’ Concerts

Dionne Warwick
Paras Griffin/Getty Images
– Dionne Warwick
Dionne Warwick performs at Atlanta

Three “A Night of Class” concerts featuring Dionne Warwick, Peabo Bryson and Deniece Williams were postponed after the producer and members of the production staff reported receiving offensive and potentially threatening text messages throughout the day of an Aug. 23 show at Atlanta’s Fox Theater.

Concerts at Richmond, Va.’s Altria Theater (Aug. 25), and New York City concerts at Kings Theater (Aug. 30) and the Beacon Theater (Aug. 31) are to be rescheduled “to ensure the safety of all staff and audience members,” according to a statement. “Everyone involved greatly apologies for the inconvenience.” The Atlanta show, and one the next day at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., went on as scheduled.

According to a spokesman for the Atlanta Police Department, an officer was alerted that the unnamed producer received the texts, from an unknown number, and upon investigation learned that other members of the production staff received “similar racist and homophobic messages specifically mentioning crew members by name,” according to a statement to Pollstar from Atlanta PD Public Affairs Unit director Carlos Campos. 

Atlanta PD’s Homeland Security Unit was asked to conduct further investigation. Campos added that while the sender of the messages “seemed to have inside knowledge of the crew’s movements,” none of the crew members interviewed by police were aware of current or past employees who might send such messages. 

According to a release sent on behalf of “A Night Of Class,” messages were directed toward “concert promoters, their family and staff members” shortly before tires of transportation vehicles were slashed and sound equipment tampered with. The tour is being produced by We Are Live Entertainment.

Fox Theater GM Allan Vela told Pollstar that the venue, guests and artists were not threatened in any way and there were no incidents the night of the performance in Atlanta. “We were informed by the promoter, Leonard Rowe of We Are Live Entertainment, that he received threats prior to the performance. Upon being notified, we informed the Atlanta Police Department and they began their investigation immediately.”

Rowe did not respond to an email seeking comment.