The country band Confederate Railroad has been inexplicably removed from the lineup of an Illinois state fair, and fans and members of the band think it was because of their name, The Southern Illinoisan reports. Some fans are calling for a boycott of the DuQuoin State Fair in response.
The DuQuoin State Fair takes place every August in DuQuoin, a Southern Illinois city about 90 miles southeast of St. Louis. This year’s fair, scheduled for August 23 through September 2, features a “’90s Country Reloaded Day” on August 27. Confederate Railroad was to be one of the headlining acts, along with Restless Heart and Shenandoah. However, for reasons that remain unclear, the Georgia band has been uninvited. Restless Heart and Shenandoah are still scheduled to perform.
The reason for the cancellation remains in dispute. The Illinois Department of Agriculture, which manages the fair, has declined to say why Confederate Railroad was removed. But the band said in a statement, via Taste of Country, that it’s because of their name.
“We have since been removed from [the] show by the Illinois Department of Agriculture because of the name of our band. This was very disappointing as we have played this fair before and enjoyed it very much,” the band wrote.
— Joe Bonsall (@joebonsall) July 7, 2019
The band encouraged fans to still go to the show without them as live concerts bands’ bread and butter.
Other country artists have come to the band’s defense. Charlie Daniels, for example, tweeted that canceling the band’s performance over its name is tantamount to fascism.
“This political correctness thing is totally out of control. When a fair cancels the Confederate Railroad band because of their name its giving in to facism [sic],” he wrote.
Similarly, Joe Bonsall of The Oak Ridge Boys called the cancellation “a crock of crap.”
Meanwhile, fans are working with the band’s management to schedule a make-up show somewhere else in Southern Illinois. There are a few problems with that, however. For one thing, the band signed a contract forbidding them within a certain radius of DuQuoin for a period of time, which means that even if they signed a contract tomorrow, it would be well into late October before the band could perform in Southern Illinois. By that time interest in this story may have cooled off, and the venue might not sell as many tickets.
Meanwhile, a Facebook group calling for a boycott of the DuQuoin State Fair gained 2,400 members in just a few days.