Adam Mac Scraps Festival Gig Over Anti-LGBTQ Protest Concerns

Country singer Adam Mac has pulled out of a planned headlining appearance at a festival in his native Kentucky, citing local concerns over his performance because he is openly gay.

Mac was slated to headline the Grand Finale Concert at the Logan County KY Tobacco & Heritage Festival, which was slated to take place on Oct. 14 as the three-week festival reached its conclusion. Mac is a native of Russellville, Ky., according to the Advocate, and in a post to social media, he says the local Chamber of Commerce had announced earlier in the week that he was set to headline the annual event.

Mac says that he subsequently received a call from the woman who had facilitated his booking, letting him know that some of the board members and some local citizens had expressed concern over his performance.

“They wanted to ensure that I would not be promoting homosexuality or sexuality in a family-friendly environment,” Mac says in a video he shared on Instagram, adding, “I don’t really know what they expected I was going to do other than just come and put on a hell of a show like we do.”

Mac says he found the controversy “disheartening,” and he struggled to decide what to do, since he didn’t want to disappoint his supporters.

“It feels like I’m letting those people down,” he states. “It also feels like if I don’t do the show, I’m caving and letting those people win.”

Even so, he eventually decided to cancel his appearance, and the festival announced on Thursday (Sept. 21) that the show and the planned fireworks display afterward were both canceled “due to circumstances beyond our control.”

The festival posted again on Friday (Sept. 22) to clarify what had happened, writing that Mac made the decision to cancel due to “safety concerns”:

Though disappointed, Mac let his fans know that an upcoming performance in Nashville is still on the books, and he intends to bring the good vibes that he intended for his show in Russellville.

“So yeah, love you guys. Sending you love. Hope to see you soon,” he ends his video.

Maren Morris, Brandy Clark, Lindsay Ell and Kelsea Ballerini are among the country artists who weighed in on Mac’s post, with Morris writing, “You are loved. I’m sorry this happened but glad you’re sharing it here.”

“This is heartbreaking @adammacmusic ….BUT it is THEIR loss!!!!!” Clark adds, while Ell writes, “I love you. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. Keep sharing your heart.”

“This is heartbreaking and so disappointing,” Ballerini writes. “I’m really sorry. you’ve got your army in these comments.”

Chely Wright turned to Twitter to offer to perform with Mac and help bring his music to small towns:

Country Singers Who’ve Come Out As Gay

Chely Wright was the first modern country singer to come out as gay when she did so in 2010. Since then hitmakers like Ty Herndon and T.J. Osborne of Brothers Osborne have shared their story. Here are more who’ve opened up to the world.