AEG Presents and the Museum of Outdoor Arts, the nonprofit that owns Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre, have expressed their support of the Black Lives Matter movement and artists Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, the Lumineers, Flobots and Spirit of Grace, all of whom have called for an artist and fan boycott of the 18,000-seat venue in Greenwood Village over a new Greenwood Village City Council resolution that protects police officers from civil liability in misconduct cases.
The boycott asks people to avoid spending any money at the venue and at any other Greenwood Village business until the resolution is reversed.
AEG and MOA sent out their supportive statement just hours before the musicians planned to participate in a march and play-in protest at 7:30 p.m. July 20 at the Greenwood Village City Hall, 6060 South Quebec Street, under the hashtag #LiveMusicforBlackLives.
"AEG Presents and the Museum of Outdoor Arts, the non-profit which owns Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater, stand together in support of Black Lives Matter and against social and racial injustice," AEG Presents said in the statement. "We also stand in support of all the artists who have come forward to lend their voices to progress, both locally and nationally. AEG Presents, as a music company that operates a venue in Greenwood Village and works closely with its police department, has unique perspective and connections to this issue. We have already reached out to key voices on both sides with the intent of bringing all parties together for meaningful dialogue and resolution."
The Greenwood Village resolution was a response to groundbreaking police-reform legislation that passed the Colorado General Assembly in June, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests that swept the nation. Among other things, the law allowed police officers to be held liable in civil cases for up to $25,000 each, if their employer determined they'd acted illegally or in bad faith.
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"This law and the boycott — to me it’s about progress towards a goal of accountability," Lumineers frontman Wesley Schultz told Westword in an email hours before the June 20 action. "Being a cop is undoubtedly one of the hardest jobs, and consequently, one that not everybody is cut out for. I think it matters when police know they can act with impunity versus have some personal stake in their job performance. So this police reform is a big thing. It’s not the end of the story, and I’m sure there’s a lot of grey area that exists — but it’s a start."
In a letter sent earlier to Greenwood Village, Rateliff wrote:
"We support the Black Lives Matter movement and were so proud to see Colorado lead the nation in implementing police reform last month by passing Senate Bill 217 with a huge bipartisan majority," wrote Rateliff in a letter to the mayor and city council of Greenwood Village. "We were appalled last week to learn that the City of Greenwood Village, CO passed a resolution to undermine the applicability of SB20-217 within its community...[t]he new resolution shockingly predetermined all future police abuse as justified to further shield bad officers from enforcement mechanisms created within SB20-217. Recently we have discussed plans to play at Fiddler’s Green; we write to you today to publicly announce that we will not play music there until Greenwood Village rescinds its recent resolution permitting police to act without accountability."
A spokesperson for Greenwood Village has not replied to requests to respond to the boycott.