Singer-songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff was famously raised in the small town of Herman, Missouri, and there may be no place under the sun more enthusiastic about deregulating the use and sale of firearms. But now, based here in Denver, Rateliff is living in a state that has a long history of mass shootings and is in the midst of a volatile debate over gun control and the Second Amendment.
That makes the stand that Rateliff and his social-justice foundation, The Marigold Project, are taking on gun control all the more poignant — and for some fans of his soulful rock, downright infuriating.
This week, when Rateliff announced that he would be headlining a two-day weekend of events advocating for gun control on October 13 and 14, people on both sides of the issue took aim at the concert — and each other — in comments on westword.com. Some are announcing that they will be boycotting Rateliff; others are expressing enthusiasm for the concert and his conviction.
Thanks for making my decision to not attend justified.
You must not have learned from the Nike ads. Your views just don't matter any more. It's actually very profitable to go against your narrow views. Good luck boycotting.
Alexis expresses her disappointment:
Ahhh, and I was just thinking how I thought I might like to go see them in concert. Bummer! ????
Scott takes a more tempered view:
My 2nd amendment beliefs don't conflict with my love of him as an artist.
A lot of respect for you, Nathaniel Rateliff. and your group.
And Adrell concludes:
I might consider this, just for all the 2A tears, and at least I would feel safer at the show knowing those cowards decided to stay home.
Read on for more of our coverage of Rateliff's career.
Fresh off a two-night Red Rocks stand and ahead of their holiday shows, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats announced that they were taking a stand for gun control: Rateliff's foundation, the Marigold Project, is hosting Not One More.
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From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 13, Not One More will host workshops, panels and training sessions at Industry, the creative workspace in RiNo. On Sunday, October 14, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats will headline a 1 p.m. rally and concert, for a mere $20 ticket, at Levitt Pavilion, Denver's nonprofit outdoor stage that offers more than fifty free concerts each year, along with a handful of ticketed shows.
Rateliff's goal with the concert is to support the youth movement that has rallied in the wake of several school shootings to advocate for gun control.
“These students are what courage looks like,” says Rateliff in a statement. “We are proud to support them in their efforts to ensure that our schools and neighborhoods are free from gun violence. We are partnering with incredible local and national nonprofit partners who have dedicated their lives to eradicating gun violence through civic engagement. We believe that we can find common ground on this issue and keep our children safe. When we see the youth of the world wanting to make change happen, we as their elders need to respond in the correct way and listen. So it is our responsibly to try to learn and to try to create community amongst each other. We need to understand each other better as individuals and as people and other cultures, and continue to make a global community that we can build upon and to continue to have something for our children and our children’s children.”
What do you think of Rateliff's move? Will you be there? Share your thoughts in a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org.