The Illinois State Fair has banned “Confederate Railroad” due to the band’s name being “offensive.” According to fans, the band was removed from the lineup due to its controversial name and fellow artists, Oak Ridge Boys and Charlie Daniel have publicly spoken out about it.
“This political correctness thing is totally out of control. When a fair cancels the Confederate Railroad band because of their name it’s giving in to facism, plain and simple and our freedom disappears piece by piece. Sick of it,” tweeted Daniels.
It’s being reported that Rich Miller of Capitol Fax, a political website and newsletter, may have influenced the removal. “A band named Confederate Railroad. In Illinois. The Land of Lincoln. Playing at a state-owned facility,” his post reads. “I’ve never heard anyone claim that the group has Confederacy-loving song lyrics or anything. It’s just… well… Allow me to turn this one over to you…” Miller posted.
In a statement release today (Tue July 9) Lead singer Danny Shirley spoke out about the fair’s decision, which reads as follows:
“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.”