Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Raggamuffin gains Sly n Robbie, UB40, Beenie Man, loses Ceelo

Sly n Robbie
Sly n Robbie
Raggamuffin Festival had its 2nd lineup announcement today, adding 9 new acts, but losing Ceelo Green.

New additions are: UB40, Macy Gray, The Game, Xzibit, House of Pain (feat. Everlast), Beenie Man, Sly & Robbie with Bitty McLean, Savage, the Aotearoa Reggae Collective and LAB. 

The last time Beenie Man was due to play here was the Big Day Out in 2010 , but he was dropped from the lineup by NZ's BDO promoters, after protests about his homophobic lyrics. Will be interesting to see if he attracts the same level of heat this time.

No update on whether Raggamuffin promoter Andrew McManus's legal troubles will affect the festival adversely or not. A statement from McManus last month said it would go ahead as planned, as well as his planned tour for KISS - McManus had his passport returned so he can travel to NZ with the band, playing Auckland October 16. He says he would strenuously defend the charges.

UPDATED Oct 24 2015: The UB40 that Raggamuffin has booked is the other UB40, not Ali Campbell's UB40, who are already booked to tour NZ in January.

NZ Herald reports Campbell was originally offered the slot at Auckland's Trusts Arena on February 20 but had to turn it down because of his own nine-date tour of New Zealand with UB40 from January 6. 

"It is unbelievable McManus is putting on the other UB40 so close to our tour," Campbell told the NZ Herald. "I think he feels a bit betrayed we decided not to do Raggamuffin after headlining it four or five times in the past.

"But in recent times there has been too many hip-hop and rap acts on the bill and we felt the festival was losing credibility with reggae fans,” Campbell added. “Last year Ice Cube went down like a horse-shit sandwich, as Lauryn Hill did the previous year."

Raggamuffin spokesman Brotha D said the other UB40 was booked because Ali Campbell's band had already announced their own summer tour of New Zealand.

"The fans kept asking us to get UB40 on the bill and as Ali's brothers were playing in Australia around the same time it made sense for us to get them on board.

"We are not here to play politics and the beef between the two bands has nothing to do with us.

"The UB40 playing Raggamuffin are not imposters."

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