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Gucci Mane concert will go on

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The show will go on.  The city won't stop rapper Gucci Mane's August 29th appearance at the Albany Civic Center. City Commission Bob Langstaff raised concerns about the rappers lyrics and said the concert should be stopped.

Wednesday city leaders say they believe they've taken the necessary steps and knew about the rapper's reputation before agreeing to the performance at the Civic Center.

City leaders say the contracts have been signed, and if they tried to stop the concert now, they'd be on the hook for money already paid by the promoter. While they'll look at the issue for future events at the Civic Center, they say this show must go on.

City leaders were relieved when the Gucci Mane concert originally planned for Ray Charles Plaza under former downtown manager Don Buie got moved to the Civic Center's back parking lot and then inside the building.

"The ability to control an event internally is always going to be better, we can have our door guards which we would normally have anyway and we can make sure we have security inside and out," said Wes Smith, Albany Assistant City Manager.

Control the event they will, there won't be alcohol sales for this concert and there will be extra security.

"We will have more uniform officers than we might have otherwise. The crew looks to be in the 30, about 30 to 35 range, some internal, some external so we think that we've got good coverage," said Smith.

City Commissioner Bob Langstaff isn't the only one concerned over the rapper's lyrics and reputation. Liberty House violence abuse shelter Silke Deeley says there's scientific evidence that shows violent music isn't a good influence, but she also said one concert won't make much difference.

"Is bringing the concert here going to increase any kind of violence? Maybe on some level all its going to do is reinforce the whole concept that patriarchal society that you know men are the rulers, men can say or do whatever they want," said Silke Deeley, Liberty House Director.

The Civic Center has struggled to draw bigger, well known, acts. Gucci Mane is expected to sell thousands of tickets. It's an opportunity they say doesn't come around every day.

"Promoters now look at return on investment it comes down to dollars and cents, it's not even the number of seats anyone of even show costs which are about the same whether it's talent fees or the actually labor costs and facility rentals," said John Mazzola, Albany Civic Center Director.

So far, the promoter's sold about a thousand tickets for the concert. We've called Commissioner Bob Langstaff multiple times to get his side of the story, but he hasn't returned any of those calls.

The City Commission is expected to hold a special session before their Tuesday meeting to talk about his concerns. Right now the city has no policy on the books that could address his concerns.


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