Animals

The Beach Boys and Pat Benatar Cancel Busch Gardens Shows Over Blackfish

The Beach Boys and Pat Benatar have canceled their Brew & BBQ shows at Busch Gardens, Tampa, the park announced Thursday.

Busch Gardens is owned by SeaWorld.

Benatar and the Beach Boys join the likes of the Barenaked Ladies, Willie Nelson, Heart, and other artists who have decided to stiff-arm SeaWorld's annual musical festival after the documentary Blackfish, which depicts how the park mistreats orcas, prompted activists to put out a petition drive to boycott SeaWorkd and the festival.

See also: SeaWorld Ripped by Filmmakers in Open Letter

Busch Gardens announced the cancellations on their Facebook Thursday morning. And, while they say they respect the decision of the artists' bolting the festival, they ripped the activists by calling the movement to boycott SeaWorld parks a "media controversy enacted by animal activists and based on misinformation."

Last month, SeaWorld took out a full-page ad in major U.S. papers, including the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, in an all-out PR campaign designed to combat the allegations brought on it by the documentary.

Last week, the park announced it had set record profits in 2013.

The music festival, which is scheduled to go down throughout February, features weekend shows for parkgoers. But after fans made Barenaked Ladies aware of Blackfish, the band released a statement saying it was taking itself out of the festival.

Willie Nelson's cancellation soon followed after 8,500 fans signed a petition asking him to cancel his February 1 show.

The Blackfish documentary has been prompting other celebrities, such as Howard Stern, to speak out against SeaWorld.

Just this past week, SeaWorld had to cancel its 50th-anniversary Manhattan soiree after PETA learned the event would feature two penguins walking around the party.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph