Minneapolis venue cancelled Dave Chappelle gig hours before showtime

A Minneapolis theatre was set to host a Dave Chappelle show but after receiving backlash from their community, they decided to move the gig mere hours before showtime.

First Avenue is a renowned theatre that even the great artist formally known as Prince played so naturally, they get some pretty big names coming through the door and had booked arguably one of the most famous comedians in the world right now, Dave Chappelle.

Soon after the gig was booked, the venue staff and community began to criticise the decision with many employees refusing to work the show.

first avenue theatre
Credit: Sara Fish for MPR

Now, First Avenue has taken to Twitter to apologise for their perceived mistake and announce that the show has been moved.

“To staff, artists and our community, we hear you and we are sorry,” First Avenue wrote.

“We know we must hold ourselves to the highest standards, and we know we let you down. … The First Avenue team and you have worked hard to make our venues the safest space in the country, and we will continue with that mission.”

The show has now been moved to Minneapolis’ Varsity Theatre and the decision has shown to be incredibly divisive. 

One Twitter user wrote in response to the announcement: “‘We believe in diverse voices but prefer obedient people’ You know Chapelle isn’t a bigot, but you know you want to appear virtuous. Comedy was never meant to be safe, you’ve really fucked up.”

While another said: “You don’t exactly deserve a ton of praise for getting yourselves into this position to begin with, but good.”

Chappelle has been considered quite the controversial comedian for the last few years and has received criticism for a few of his jokes that involve the LGBTQIA+ community, particularly those that refer to transgender people.

Although the comedian’s most recent Netflix special The Closer caused a literal walkout at Netflix in protest of his content, the special also received two Emmy nominations.

Given how vocal people are on both sides of the for or against Chappelle argument, First Avenue likely wouldn’t have been able to make any decision without being inundated with criticism.