Illinois State Fairgrounds Reject Permit for R. Kelly-Hosted Concert
A music festival that was to be hosted by R. Kelly had their application rejected in the wake of resurfaced abuse allegations surrounding the rapper after the airing of Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly documentary.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the Spring Break Jam concert, which was set to take place in April and be hosted by Kelly, was denied a permit to host the event at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois. The concert organizers had already begun promoting the event when the application was rejected.
“They had just submitted an application, and unfortunately we can’t control when an organizer begins promoting an event,” Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) spokeswoman Denise Albert said.
Albert said that the event did not meet three of the criteria used to determine whether a lease application is accepted. The criteria include “the security of both the physical presumes and persons upon the premises,” “reasonably foreseeable problems with security caused by either the nature of the usage or the identity of the proposed lessee or his/her patrons” and “the welfare of the general community.”
The Tribune reports that these security concerns partially stemmed from last week’s protests outside of Kelly’s Chicago music studio.
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As of Monday, the event is still listed on the IDOA’s calendar for April 6 at the Exposition Building located on the fairgrounds. CNN reports the festival will move forward without Kelly’s involvement.
This isn’t the first time Kelly, who was born in Illinois, has been in hot water in the state — he is currently risking eviction at his Chicago music studio for owing $80,000 in arrears to the company that owns the building, according to the Blast.
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Surviving R. Kelly — which aired on Lifetime from Jan. 3 through Jan. 5 — featured wide-ranging interviews with Kelly’s family members, former friends and colleagues, but most notably, women who claim that for decades the hit-making singer and producer used his power and influence to sexually and physically abuse them and others.
Last week, The New York Times reported that the singer, 52, was under investigation in the state of Georgia.
R. Kelly’s lawyer has denied the allegations. In an interview with the Associated Press on Friday, Chicago-based attorney Steve Greenberg called the documentary “disgusting” and claimed that producers told “disgruntled” women incriminating things to say about Kelly off camera in an effort to incriminate the Grammy winner.
Producers of the film, however, denied these allegations. “We are enormously proud of the series. The powerful stories from the women in the documentary speak for themselves,” they previously said in a statement to PEOPLE. “Their honesty and candor has resonated with millions of viewers.”
Reps from the Illinois Department of Agriculture did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
If you or someone you know think they are being abused, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) now for anonymous, confidential help, available 24/7.
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