Internet rumor to the contrary, Buju Banton will not perform in Richmond.
The reggae singer has stirred up considerable local controversy because of his gay-killing song, “Boom Bye Bye.” The Jamaican dancehall artist was scheduled to perform at the National and then the new Hat Factory club, but both shows were canceled because of aggressive protests from local gay activist groups. Banton's Richmond concert was scheduled on the same day, Sept. 26, that thousands of people from the gay and lesbian community plan to participate in the city's annual Pride Festival at the Gay Community Center.
Two days after the singer's show at the Hat Factory was canceled, a concert poster began circulating online advertising that Banton would perform at Skateland of Virginia, a roller skating rink on Hull Street Road, on the city's South Side. The poster advertised that the show would begin at midnight.
But Skateland's owner, who identified himself only as “Howard,” told Style that someone who works for him -- “a guy who scrubs my floors for me” -- agreed to book the concert without his approval. “We don't do those kinds of events,” he says.
Norfolk-based Lion Heart Promotions, the company booking Banton's shows in Virginia, claims that Skateland not only reserved space for the Saturday concert but took a sizable monetary advance from Lion Heart in the process.
“Both the Hat Factory and Skateland reneged on their deal with us,” King Walker of Lion Heart says on Friday afternoon.
In lieu of a Sept. 26 Richmond appearance, an extra performance by Banton has been added at Norfolk's NorVa Theater.