Matchbox Twenty has canceled a performance at a large rodeo event out of concern for the animals. Lead singer Rob Thomas confirmed that the band is pulling out of its July 18 show at Cheyenne Frontier Days, which bills itself as the world’s biggest outdoor rodeo.
“We ask that (fans) please understand that it would be impossible for us to put ourselves in the position of making money from what we believe to be the mistreatment of animals,” according to a statement from Thomas posted Saturday on the band’s Web site.
The organizers of Wyoming festival Cheyenne Frontier Days are suing an animal rights group named SHARK after the group pressured Matchbox Twenty to pull out of the performance at the festival. The organizers claim that SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness) used “false and misleading information” and “threats of negative publicity” in persuading Rob Thomas and crew to pull out of the festival.
The band reportedly dropped out of Frontier Days after the band saw videos of alleged animal abuses from last year’s rodeo/concert. Frontier Days organizers say Matchbox Twenty’s defection cost them $100,000.
The Grammy-winning band is still scheduled to perform this summer at the North Dakota State Fair, which includes rodeo events.