ReAwaken America tour in Rochester canceled over ‘concern from our community,’ Armory owner says

·3 min read

The ReAwaken America tour no longer will include a stop on Aug. 12 and 13 at the Main Street Armory.

In an email distributed Monday, venue owner Scott Donaldson wrote, “(In response) to the outpour(ing) of concern from our community, both good and bad, I have decided after careful thought to cancel The ReAwaken America Tour that was scheduled for August 2022.”

Last week, Grammy-nominated indie-pop band Japanese Breakfast announced it was cancelling a Sept. 27 show at the Armory over its decision to host the ReAwaken America event, featuring Michael Flynn and Roger Stone, both advisors to former President Donald Trump.

Flynn, who pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador and encouraged Trump to declare martial law to overturn the results of 2020 presidential election, and Stone, who was found guilty of obstructing a congressional investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, both received pardons from Trump.

Gen. Michael Flynn speaks  at ReAwaken America Tour at Trinity Gospel Temple in Canton.  Friday,  February 18, 2022.
Gen. Michael Flynn speaks at ReAwaken America Tour at Trinity Gospel Temple in Canton. Friday, February 18, 2022.

Also on the ReAwaken America speakers list: Dr. Stella Immanuel, who has posted videos claiming that doctors make medicine using DNA from aliens, and Scott McKay and Gene Ho, who have links to the false QAnon conspiracy theory about a global child molestation and sacrifice ring being led by prominent Democratic politicians.

Rochester-based touring act Joywave, which has played the Armory before, piggybacked on the Japanese Breakfast tweets, writing: “To add to this: We reached out directly to the Armory and heard nothing back. If the Reawaken America Tour does take place as scheduled, we will not be playing there in the future. Have heard a few agents behind the scenes feel the same about booking their artists there as well.”

More:Alt-pop band Japanese Breakfast cancels Main Street Armory show over ReAwaken America tour

More:Tour by Michael Flynn, Roger Stone raises outcry in Rochester

In his Monday email, Donaldson said the Armory is “an equal opportunity and non-political venue.  We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, etc.

“I believe everyone has the right to their own opinions and beliefs. …

“I have always appreciated the support from our city and I believe it is my turn to show my support back.

“I hope to see you all at future events here. (Apart from the ones who have threatened myself and staff, you are not welcome)”

Donaldson did not describe the threats or say whether they had been reported to police.

He did not respond to requests for comment from the Democrat and Chronicle in May amid outcry from community members and politicians after the ReAwaken America event was booked at the venue.

He also did not respond last week after Japanese Breakfast made its cancellation announcement on Twitter and alleged that the band was told the ReAwaken America event was cancelled “and later learned it was secretly moving forward.”

Donaldson did, however, talk with The Washington Post for a story it published July 15, telling reporter Samantha Chery that he wasn’t given a reason for the Japanese Breakfast concert cancellation and never spoke to group members about the ReAwaken America event.

He told Chery the Armory is apolitical, offering as proof its long history of hosting a wide range of events, and said, “You can’t please everyone.”

The ReAwaken America tour has made at least a dozen stops nationwide. The Rochester event would be the first and only in the Northeast.

Reporter Marcia Greenwood covers general assignments. Send story tips to mgreenwo@rocheste.gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter @MarciaGreenwood.

This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: ReAwaken America tour stop at Rochester Main Street Armory canceled