03 June 2011

Thanks For The Notice, But ... Really?

The news broke early Wednesday afternoon that the headliner of this year's Capital Pride Festival isn't who we thought it was. At the time, I didn't mind the 11th-hour switch. I mean, it isn't like the person who's stepping in is an unknown talent or hasn't been professionally active in a while.

But the more I thought about it, the more it started to stick in my craw. See, Capital Pride's main act historically hasn't been a person who would be considered a current top artist. Usually the main act is a washed-up performer, a "legend" who doesn't have much else going on, someone who hasn't been culturally relevant in over 10 years. I'm not saying this is true of Ms. Holliday ... because it isn't. She has been very active in music and film, even releasing a gospel album in April. She is a great choice for the headlining performance.

But she's no Kelly Rowland.

It was good of Ms. Rowland to let the organizers know of the scheduling conflict and that she had to back out. I wouldn't necessarily say that she "took the high road"; she merely paid the most basic courtesy by simply informing. If she wanted to take the high road, she would not have agreed to perform at Capital Pride at all. It's not like she didn't know she wanted to be a judge on X-Factor. Gigs like that just don't sneak up on you. You start actively going after a job like that as soon as the rumor of someone leaving hits the street. She knew she wanted the X-Factor job more than she wanted to sing at Capital Pride. So, she should never have said yes to the committee.

Maybe it's the District native in me. Maybe I'm reading too much into this. Maybe I've let the decades of snubs by popular artists, thus having to settle for 2nd- and 3rd-Tier acts, build a large chip on my shoulder. Look, I get that stuff happens. I understand that scheduling conflicts arise. And I can see how things can get overlooked. But I can't help but feel that this cancellation smacks of disrespect for the homosexuals of the Washington Metropolitan area.

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