Ted Nugent Paid $16,000 Not to Show Up for Concert
One Texas town has decided Ted Nugent isn't the right act for its Fourth of July concert this year -- even if it means paying him a hefty fee not to play.
The city council in Longview, Texas had entered into negotiations with Nugent, who was under consideration to headline their annual July 4th festival. But as the Longview News-Journal reports, "several factors" surrounding Nugent and his music convinced council leaders to break things off and find a new performer.
Longview spokesperson Shawn Hara cited "a variety of reasons" for the decision, adding, "Cost, structure, is it the right musical act for this type of event -- a city-sponsored, family-oriented overall event. They decided no, we don’t want to move forward, it is not the right act for this. At that point we decided to end discussions."
Unfortunately for Longview, Nugent's reps argued that they were too far along in the negotiations to simply change their minds, and insisted that Nugent be paid $16,250 -- half of his guaranteed performance fee. Mayor Jay Dean, who was part of the discussions that led to breaking off talks with Nugent, declined to pursue disciplinary action against any of the staffers involved in the initial outreach, and told the paper, "I still feel that it was the right decision. It just didn’t fit with what we were trying to put together."
As the News-Journal notes, Nugent has drawn headlines in Texas recently due to his presence on the campaign trail with gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, who's been criticized for publicly aligning with Nugent following the controversy surrounding his statements regarding President Obama, as well as "comments about immigrants and some of his song lyrics, seemingly suggesting child molestation." The city is said to be looking for a new performer to headline the Fourth of July festival.
Of course, not everyone agrees with Longview's decision, including the outgoing chairman of the local Republican party, who fumed to the paper, "We have paid $16,000 to Ted Nugent for political correctness."