Monkeypox cancels free concert held at Southern Decadence

Aug 17, 2022, 4:55 PM | Updated: 8:51 pm

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Bourbon Street Extravaganza, a free concert held in New Orleans amid Southern Decadence — one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ events — has been canceled over monkeypox concerns, organizers said Wednesday.

The concert was scheduled to return Sept. 3 for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic shut down Decadence in 2020. It normally attracts up to 20,000 people to the corner of Bourbon and St. Ann streets in New Orleans’ French Quarter outside the bar Napoleon’s Itch.

The concert’s producer, Chuck Robinson, called off the concert in light of the rapidly spreading monkeypox virus, news outlets reported. The virus, which seems to disproportionately affect gay and bisexual men, is spread by prolonged skin-to-skin contact.

“I regret that we can’t do the show, but monkeypox just came out of the blue, and quickly,” Robinson told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “My concerns have to be the safety of the artists and the production team.”

He added there were plans to bring in stars from Australia and England and yet the virus has “stats that frighten me.”

“It’s spread by touch and closeness, not by droplets like COVID and I did not feel, in all good conscious, that I could be responsible for an event that could become a mass spreader,” he said.

The Washington Post first reported on the Bourbon Street Extravaganza’s cancelation as part of a story about the growing threat of monkeypox. There have been concerns about the lack of availability of the monkeypox vaccine in Louisiana, which has 120 confirmed cases, state health officials said.

Earlier this month, the Louisiana Department of Health said it was in contact with Southern Decadence organizers to get people vaccinated before the event scheduled to run Sept. 1-5 over the extended Labor Day holiday weekend.

Since 1972, Southern Decadence has grown from an informal gathering to an annual blowout that draws thousands of revelers to New Orleans over the long holiday weekend. In 2019, an estimated 225,000 people attended various events and the wide-ranging street party. An even larger crowd was expected this year.

The Bourbon Street Extravaganza has been part of Southern Decadence since 2004, the year Robinson and co-founder Ron Julian opened Napoleon’s Itch at 734 Bourbon. Robinson and Julian launched the concert on an outdoor stage in part as a way to promote their new bar, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported. Over the years, Jeanie Tracy became a frequent, and favorite, performer at the concert.

“It has grown into the largest event of Southern Decadence,” Robinson said. “It’s our gift to the city.”

Robinson said the concert will return in 2023.

“I pray for everyone’s safety, but this is what I had to do,” he said of the decision to cancel.

Other Southern Decadence events and promotions are still on as scheduled.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Turkey’s annual inflation hits new 24-year high at 83.45%

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s annual inflation reached a new 24-year high of 83.45% in September, according to official data on Monday, pushing the cost of essential goods higher and further hitting households already facing high energy, food and housing costs. The Turkish Statistical Institute said consumer prices rose by 3.08% from the previous month. […]
2 hours ago
FILE - The Twitter page of Elon Musk is seen on the screen of a computer in Sausalito, Calif., on M...
Associated Press

What if Musk loses the Twitter case but defies the court?

Twitter wants a Delaware court to order Elon Musk to buy the social media service for $44 billion, as he promised back in April. But what if a judge makes that ruling and Musk balks? The Tesla billionaire’s reputation for dismissing government pronouncements has some worried that he might flout an unfavorable ruling of the […]
2 hours ago
Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng speaking to the media ahead of the Conservative Party an...
Associated Press

UK scraps tax cut for wealthy that sparked market turmoil

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — The British government has dropped plans to cut income tax for top earners, part of a package of unfunded cuts that sparked turmoil on financial markets and sent the pound to record lows. In a dramatic about-face, Treasury chief Kwasi Kwarteng said Monday that he would abandon plans to scrap the […]
1 day ago
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida delivers a policy speech in Tokyo Monday, Oct. 3, 2022. (Sad...
Associated Press

Japan’s Kishida vows to regain trust in church controversy

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Monday that he will humbly listen to people’s “harsh voices” criticizing his governing party’s cozy ties to the ultra-conservative Unification Church and help victims of its allegedly fraudulent businesses and huge donation collection. Kishida has come under fire in a widening scandal that has exposed decades […]
1 day ago
FILE - A Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020 file photo of a Nobel medal displayed during a ceremony in New York....
Associated Press

Nobel panel to announce winner of medicine prize

STOCKHOLM (AP) — The winner, or winners, of the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine will be announced Monday at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Among the researchers who may be honored this year are those who were instrumental in the development of the mRNA technology that went into COVID-19 vaccines, which saved millions […]
1 day ago
The Pittsburgh Steelers face the New England Patriots during an NFL football game at Acrisure Stadi...
Associated Press

Spectator at Steelers game dies after fall from escalator

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A spectator at Sunday’s game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets died following a fall on an escalator at Acrisure Stadium. The Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety said police and emergency service personnel were alerted after a male spectator fell around 4:45 p.m., shortly after the end of New York’s […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Monkeypox cancels free concert held at Southern Decadence