They have all pulled out of the 'BPop Live' event in Birmingham on June 19th, claiming they weren't aware of its political nature.
‘Britain’s Got Talent’ judge Alesha Dixon and boybands 5IVE and East 17 are pulling out of an upcoming “Brexit gig” organised by the campaign to vote to leave the European Union, with ‘70s star Rose Royce also reportedly considering doing the same.
The BPop Live event is scheduled to take place at Birmingham’s Genting Arena on June 19th – just four days before the United Kingdom votes on whether to remain within the E.U. However, the company responsible for managing both Dixon and 5ive claimed that they only recently discovered the gig was “more a political rally”.
Alesha Dixon is pulling out of the 'BPop Live' event
“When Rich and Scott agreed to play the event they understood that it was a pop concert funded by one of the Brexit organisations and not a political rally,” 5ive's management told BBC’s Newsbeat in a statement.
“As it has come to light that this is more a political rally with entertainment included they have both decided to cancel their involvement. They would like to make it clear that as a band 5ive have no political allegiances or opinions for either side. Their allegiance is first and foremost to their fans.”
Digital Spy also reported that East 17’s manager had contacted them on Tuesday (May 24th), citing similar concerns and announcing that they too were cancelling their performance.
The planned gig has suffered a number of setbacks already, with Sigma cancelling their performance last month and forcing it to be re-arranged from its original date of May 8th. UKIP leader Nigel Farage is believed to be a speaker at the event.
BPop Live has not responded to the slew of cancellations, but the Leave.EU campaign’s Director of Communications Andy Wigmore did speak about what had happened.
5ive performing in 2013
“Firstly, Leave.EU have only endorsed the event, we're not running it,” he said in an e-mail to the BBC. “But it's NOT a political rally.”
“As for 2/5ths of 5ive pulling out - that's up to them. Not sure I understand their reasons but I think they have missed a great opportunity. Any way of communicating to young people the importance of voting is welcome. Even if they were voting ‘In’ and performed wearing ‘In’ T-shirts we would have still been happy for them to be part of it. Getting the young to vote on their future is hugely important, and all we are supporting is that effort by the BPop Live events team.”