The Brooklyn venue Market Hotel will no longer host the first-ever concert from John Hinckley Jr., a 67-year-old singer-songwriter perhaps better known for his attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
In a statement posted on their Instagram page (and spotted by Stereogum), Market Hotel says that the threats presented to their community by forces opposed to the Hinckley show outweighed the principle of putting on the gig. "If we were going to host an event for the principle, and potentially put others at risk in doing so, it shouldn’t be for some stunt booking — no offense to the artist. We might feel differently if we believed the music was important and transcended the infamy, but that’s just not the case here."
The statement goes on to acknowledge that the hot ticket nature of Hinckley's show was driven more by his notoriety than his music. "It is not worth the gamble on the safety of our vulnerable communities to give a guy a microphone and a paycheck from his art who hasn’t had to earn it, who we don’t care about on an artistic level, and who upsets people in a dangerously radicalized, reactionary climate."
Hinckley was released from psychiatric care in 2016 after 33 years and began posting original folk songs on a YouTube channel. In April, Hinckley announced the Market Hotel show, which quickly sold out.
Read the full statement below.