Although the Russell Simmons-led Hip-Hop Summit Action Network has postponed plans to organize a hip-hop summit next month in Atlanta, a local entertainment/sports attorney is attempting to move forwa
Although the Russell Simmons-led Hip-Hop Summit Action Network has postponed plans to organize a hip-hop summit next month in Atlanta, a local entertainment/sports attorney is attempting to move forward with plans for an all-star hip-hop concert in the city. The concert, which originally was to be held at Atlanta's Turner Field parking lot the weekend of April 11, was to be a component of a hip-hop summit at nearby Morehouse College.
The Hip-Hop Summit group decided to postpone the event after permits for the concert were rejected twice by the city of Atlanta, citing security and logistical concerns. Yesterday (March 13), attorney John Christmas announced independently that the event would be held at the George International Horse Park in Conyers, 27 miles east of Atlanta. However, he told Billboard.com this morning that deal has fallen through after "threats of violence" were made by "the Conyers local citizenry."
"The festival will go on," Christmas said. "But we would be interested in speaking with any venue that would be interested in conducting the event, as well as any supporters and sponsors." Christmas declined to list any artists that have signed on to appear at the concert, but said a number of prospective acts had been subject to threats.
"It wasn't this way from the beginning," he added. "We actually met with mayor of Atlanta and her office thought the event would be great idea. The tide turned after [Atlanta hosted] the NBA All-Star weekend [last month]. The city got a lot of bad press about how bad the traffic was, and this group of local businesses called the Buckhead Coalition complained to the mayor's office. Then began the misinformation campaign."
For their part, the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network has pledged to work in tandem with the city of Atlanta to stage future hip-hop related events. "We love the people of Atlanta and we respect Mayor Shirley Franklin and other city officials," Simmons said in a statement. "We look forward to selecting a later date for convening the Atlanta Hip-Hop Summit, as well as other related concerts and events."