Southern country rock group, Confederate Railroad, has been removed from the lineup of Du Quoin State Fair in Du Quoin, Ill. over its name and use of the Confederate flag, enraging fans and country music legend Charlie Daniels.
The band, who hails from Marietta, Georgia were booked to perform at the on Aug. 27, as part of a lineup with Shenandoah and Restless Heart. The fair’s manager, John Gross, says the Illinois Department of Agriculture made the decision to remove Confederate Railroad from the show after political blog wrote a piece asking whether it was appropriate for them perform. According to the Southern Illinoisan, Gross said,
While every artist has a right to expression, we believe this decision is in the best interest of serving all of the people in our state.
Charlie Daniels isn’t having any of it. He put his support squarely behind the band tweeting:
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, plain and simple and our freedom disappears piece by piece. Sick of it.
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, plain and simple and our freedom disappears piece by piece.
Sick of it.
— Charlie Daniels (@CharlieDaniels) July 6, 2019
Confederate Railroad lead singer Danny Shirley issued this statement today:
As many of you know, we were scheduled to perform at the Illinois State Fair in Du Quoin, Illinois on August 27, along with our friends Restless Heart and Shenandoah. We have since been removed from that 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 outpouring of support from Confederate Railroad fans, fans of other acts, and the public in general, has been both overwhelming and very much appreciated. I would also like to thank the actors, athletes and fellow country music artists who have spoken out in support. It has been brought to my attention that several people have asked both Restless Heart and Shenandoah to cancel their shows in protest of our cancellation. I have spoken to both acts and encouraged them to perform as scheduled. Live concerts are how we pay our bills and feed our families. I would never want to see another act lose a payday because of this. Please go out to hear these two great bands. As I have said many times onstage, I am by no means a saint but, I am a man of faith and I have faith that God will see us through this as well as whatever comes next! Thank you for your support. (Released July 9)
A Facebook group created over the band’s cancellation called #boycottduquoinstatefair has more than 2,700 members as of Tuesday.