The concert is canceled – white musicians are playing reggae!

René Garzke

When haircut and music style become a political problem … The band’s concert in Bern, Switzerland was canceled because several white musicians wear rasta hairdos and play reggae.

The band “Lauwarm” performed last week at the alternative restaurant “Brasserie Lorraine”. During the concert, several guests expressed “discomfort with the situation,” organizers said on social networks.

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On the one hand, visitors would be disturbed by the fact that some white musicians wore Rasta hairstyles. On the other hand, because they play reggae at all – the genre has its origins in Jamaica, specifically in the black indigenous peoples.

If white people are adopting these customs now, staunch critics speak of “cultural appropriation.” First, the whites suppressed the black population during colonization, and now they are also “stealing” their culture, according to the accusation.

From the critics’ point of view, nothing changes if, as with reggae, the goal is not to disdain a culture but to revive it.

Nevertheless, the Swiss organizers said: “We would like to apologize to everyone who felt unwell at the concert.” They lacked the prioritization of the case and the ‘protection’ of the guests.

That’s what the team says

The group “Lauwarm” criticized the cancellation of their concert. Team principal Dominik Plumettaz now said to “Neue Zürcher Zeitung”: “We felt offended because no one in the audience came to us when we played that night.”

There was a great atmosphere during their performance – he told the portal “20min.ch”. However, several guests complained directly to the organizer, the team principal was still speaking to the NZZ.

Regarding the allegations, Plumettaz said: His performances are neither a provocation nor a cultural appropriation. “We are inspired by other cultures and styles, we develop them further and create our music this way.”

For the same reason, some of the band members wear rasta or traditional costumes from African countries such as the Gambia or Senegal. “Because some of his teammates may identify with him,” says Plumettaz. Society is undergoing a multicultural change where cultures come together.

The band boss promised: “We stick to our music and we will do it in the future.”

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On Tuesday evening, the restaurant operators also released a new statement. He was surprised that the cancellation of the concert “made waves like this,” he says.

Then there are cautious doubts about our own actions: “We’re not saying we did the right thing by ending the concert. However, just being allowed to continue was also inappropriate. It could also be called excessive demands. ” In three weeks there will be a discussion evening on this topic.

In late March, a similar case in Hanover sparked a violent storm of protests: climate activists from “Fridays for Future” imposed a ban on performing against musician Ronja Maltzahn (28). Also because of her dreadlocks.

At the time, the ultimatum that the climatic group set to the musician was particularly bold: “If you decide to cut your dreadlocks by Friday, of course we will welcome you to the demo and let you play.”

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