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Barenaked Ladies Cancel SeaWorld Appearance Following Fan Petition
November 27, 2013
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(Photo: REUTERS/Greg Locke)

Barenaked Ladies will no longer appear for a previously scheduled performance at SeaWorld, CNN reports.

The Toronto band had been slated to play on Feb. 15, 2013 at the Orlando, Florida theme park. But earlier this month, a St. Catharines, Ontario fan named Mike Garrett launched a petition on the activist site Change.org begging them to reconsider:

As a fan, I was disappointed to learn that BNL is scheduled to play an upcoming show at Seaworld in Orlando, Florida on February 15, 2014.

In light of all the horrific information we're learning about places like Seaworld and Marineland. I'm hoping to grab the band's attention on this issue and ask them, on behalf of all their animal-loving fans, to reconsider performing there.

It appears the pressure may have made an impact. Late last night, the band, which is currently on tour in England, posted a message on their Facebook page confirming the decision:

This is a complicated issue, and we don't claim to understand all of it, but we don't feel comfortable proceeding with the gig at this time. The Seaworld folks have been gracious, and extended us invitations to the park to learn more about what they do, and how they do it.

We encourage anybody and everybody to get involved with a charity organization they feel passionate about. We here at Barenaked Ladies have made a decision based on what we feel. It's not about money, or petitions, or press... But it is about our fans.

One potential factor in the decision might have been the documentary Blackfish. Released earlier this year and broadcast on CNN in October, it details the treatment of Tilikum, an orca who lives at SeaWorld, and makes the case against keeping marine mammals in captivity. In response to a query from a fan on Monday on Twitter, drummer Tyler Stewart acknowledged that the band's thinking was influenced by watching the documentary: 

Other artists, like Willie Nelson, Cheap Trick and Martina McBride, are still slated to play at the theme park throughout the Bands, Brews & BBQ festival, which runs in February and March. Nelson is currently the subject of his own Change.org petition.

Via CNN

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