July 15, 2013 3:09 pm

Sponsors backing out of controversial Chris Brown concert

HALIFAX – Continued backlash over a summer concert headlined by R & B singer Chris Brown has led to more sponsors backing out.

The artist will be performing at Dartmouth’s Alderney Landing on Aug. 31, as part of the Energy Rush concert series, put on by Halifax radio station Energy 103.5.

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Brown is also set to play in Winnipeg on Aug. 29, Toronto on Aug. 30 and, according to promoter Drop Entertainment Group, one more Maritime location on Sept. 1.

Read more: Halifax promoter says Chris Brown show will go on despite protests

Many people on social media are calling for Brown to be removed from the line-up because of his violent past.

Brown was convicted following a vicious assault in 2009 on his then-girlfriend, Grammy-winning musician Rihanna.

Molson Coors, which had exclusive beer pouring rights at the concert , announced Monday they were pulling out of the event. A spokesman told Global News consumers had contacted the company and voiced concern about the headlining act.

Touch of Radiance, a spa based in Dartmouth, also announced on Facebook they were withdrawing their sponsorship.

“Based on the values of our company we decided we don’t want to align ourselves with his past,” said owner Jose Martins. “We love his music, just not his past and we think that’s a little more important.”

All this follows Rogers’ decision, on Saturday, to withdraw as the concert’s title sponsor.

An online petition to prevent Brown from performing has gathered more than 870 signatures over the weekend. As well, Halifax Mayor Mike Savage and Dartmouth councillor Gloria McCluskey have voiced their displeasure with the event.

The Avalon Sexual Assault Centre issued a statement on Brown’s scheduled performance and the decision by Molson Coors and Touch of Radiance to pull their support from the Energy Rush concert.

“While our organization focuses primarily on the issue of sexualized violence, we strongly condemn all forms of violence against women. The announcement that Chris Brown is the headlining act for this summer’s Energy Rush concert at Alderney Landing is disappointing. By inviting Chris Brown, known for his violent behavior and assault on Rihanna, to perform here sends a message that if a person is talented, his/her past actions do not matter,” the statement read.

Despite the controversy, promoter Drop Entertainment Group, says the concert will go on.

“In no way do we condone Chris Brown’s past behavior or personal endeavors; we are purely focused on his music, incredible talent and overall popularity,” said owner Stephen Tobin, in a release on Monday. “I believe it is a very slippery slope when we start trying to censor, or dictate, who can or cannot perform in this province.”

© Shaw Media, 2013

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