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Claim Filed Against CA City For Cancelled Concert

VISALIA, CA (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — City officials in Visalia, California, are being asked to pay a local rapper and concert promoter for allegedly halting plans for a spring concert at the Visalia Convention Center.

Hip-hop singer Sole Profit, otherwise known as Cameron McClure, and concert promoter Bonnie Gomez-Thompson and her company Reel Talk Entertainment filed separate claims last week, seeking thousands of dollars compensation for a show scheduled March 11th to benefit the Visalia Emergency Aid charity, according to the Fresno Bee.

The claims allege that unfounded police fears led to the city interfering with arrangements between Visalia Emergency Aid and Reel Talk for the “Hip Hop for Hunger” concert, pressuring the Visalia charity to cancel the date and then not allowing the promoter to take over the concert.

The concert was then moved to the Fresno Convention Center, where it reportedly sold out and took place without incident.

McClure’s claim states that the city “shut down the concert once they realized it was going to be successful.” He is seeking $100,000 to satisfy a combination of lost retail sales of merchandise at a sold-out concert, lost wages from meetings related to the cancellation and relocation and a lost career opportunity: “A major record label interested in me pulled out because of the cancellation.”

Douglas Hurt, a Visalia attorney representing Gomez-Thompson, said the Visalia Emergency Aid group approached the promoter in January to help present the concert to benefit the charity.

“Visalia Emergency Aid knew when they were doing this that this was the kind of music she promoters,” Hurt told the paper. “She assured them she would promote a concert that was peaceful and with no alcohol whatsoever.”

Hurt claimed that two weeks before the concert, the local police “put forces in motion to get the concert cancelled” by raising concerns about potential gang violence. “The implication was that if you have a black artist who performs hip-hop, you’re going to have violence,” Hurt said.

Visalia Emergency Aid “succumbed to the pressure and cancelled its contract for the rental of the convention center,” said Hurt. By that time, Gomez-Thompson had already contracted with headliner E-40, and had sold about 1,500 tickets to the event, spending thousands on advertising and promotion.

“The thing she is most concerned about is the discriminatory aspect of this,” Hurt told the paper, “and the backroom manner in which this was handled.”

Deputy City Manager Alex Peltzer told the paper that when the Aid withdrew their concert, the city offered Gomez-Thompson a later date for the show, but she deemed it unacceptable and took her show to Fresno.

He said that because the city had never done an event with Reel Talk, “we didn’t know their financial ability, didn’t know what security measures would be required, and we need to go through a process to verify all that.” –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers