A planned concert event featuring R. Kelly has been denied a permit by the state of Illinois, but officials say the controversy generated by the recent Lifetime Canada docu-series “Surviving R. Kelly” is not behind the decision.
As the Chicago Tribune reports, a permit application was denied to organizers of the Spring Break Jam concert, set to take place in April at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, featuring Kelly as “host.” The reason for the application’s denial: concerns over security.
While the organizers had already announced the event would take place, Illinois Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Denise Albert told the Tribune that the announcement was premature, given that officials were still reviewing the application.
“They had just submitted an application, and unfortunately we can’t control when an organizer begins promoting an event,” said Albert.
Albert added that the allegations of sexual abuse made by numerous women in “Surviving R. Kelly” had nothing to do with the decision. However, a protest outside Kelly’s Chicago studio on Wednesday — with more reported to come — fuelled concerns over security.
According to Albert, there are 13 criteria that must be met in order for applicants to successfully lease space for an event, and the Kelly-hosted event fell short on three: “The security of both the physical premises and persons upon the premises of the State Fairgrounds;” “Reasonably foreseeable problems with security caused by either the nature of the usage or the identity of the proposed lessee or his/her patrons;” and “The welfare of the general community.”
According to Albert, the event could submit another application and be approved in the future, but only if Kelly were to be dropped from the bill.