Columbus, Ohio’s Fashion Meet Music Festival, which is scheduled to take over venues around our own Chris DeVille’s hometown on Labor Day weekend, already had a pretty incoherent lineup: O.A.R.! Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child! Future Islands! Rusko! Ceremony! But the booking choice that drew the most scrutiny was its choice of headliner: R. Kelly, who was set to play Nationwide Arena 8/29. When Kelly played the Pitchfork and Bonnaroo festivals last year, the shows went down largely without incident. But after renewed interest in Kelly’s sordid past, his appearance at Fashion Meets Music drew a ton of bad press, especially after Columbus folk-punkers Saintseneca dropped out of the festival, electing to play a benefit for sexual assault victims on the same night instead. And now The Columbus Dispatch reports that Kelly won’t play the festival after all. The newspaper quotes festival spokesperson Melissa Dickson saying, “We wanted to make sure we heard the Columbus listeners… to make a statement and support the city we live in.” There won’t be a replacement act at the arena.
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