Discover more from Tread by Lee Hedgepeth
'It's hurtful': Owner of Birmingham LGBTQ bar vows beer boycott over Ted Nugent concert at Avondale Brewery
Avondale Brewery referred all questions about the concert to its promoter, Red Mountain Entertainment
It’s a beer boycott.
Mark Cummings, owner of Al’s on Seventh in Birmingham, said it’s the least he can do.
“There’s no way I can advocate their brand in my bar,” Cummings told Tread Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, Cummings had announced that Al’s on Seventh would no longer purchase beer from Avondale Brewery or Good People Brewing in Birmingham because of a scheduled concert featuring Ted Nugent, who’s recently made national headlines for transphobic remarks.
The concert, part of Nugent’s “Adios, MoFo ‘23” tour, is currently set to take place July 18 at Avondale Brewery’s concert venue. Nugent has faced widespread criticism in recent weeks over comments made about members of the LGBTQ community.
"There is no such thing as transgender,” Nugent said on social media. “You cannot change your gender. Comfortably numb is actually uncomfortably dumb. Debate me but bring your bib.”
Cummings said Nugent’s comments are part of a wider attack on those in the LGBTQ community.
“Over the past few years, it just seems like we’re getting attacked left and right,” Cummings said.
The bar owner is intimately familiar with the ways in which anti-LGBTQ rhetoric can translate to potential violence. In November, Birmingham police had to provide Al’s on Seventh extra security after a community member overheard someone discussing a plan to “shoot up” the bar.
It’s instances like that that motivate him to speak out when people like Nugent are provided a platform in the community.
“It’s hurtful that these businesses would do this,” Cummings said of Avondale and Good People. “If they’re going to allow someone who speaks so openly against our community, then I can’t financially support them and allow my customers to purchase their products.”
About 40% of the locally-sourced beer sold at Al’s on Seventh comes from Avondale or Good People, Cummings said.
Michael Sellers, a co-owner of Avondale Brewery, referred all questions about the issue to Red Mountain Entertainment, the promoter who scheduled the Nugent concert at Sellers’ Avondale venue.
“Avondale Brewery is a venue and does not schedule or promote larger shows at Avondale Brewery,” Sellers said. “I’ll direct you to Red Mountain Entertainment with any questions. Red Mountain Entertainment is the exclusive promoter for the venue.”
Sellers would not answer further questions about the boycott or condemn Nugent’s comments.
Red Mountain Entertainment has not responded to requests for comment as of publication time.
Cummings said that while he understands that there may be contractual difficulties involved, Avondale Brewery should cancel the concert.
“Avondale owes our community a public explanation,” Cummings said. “And I would love to see them cancel.”
Allowing Nugent to perform in Avondale would be disrespectful to LGBTQ folks in the community, Cummings said — individuals who are already being targeted by politicians at both the national and state levels.
Last year, Alabama passed a law banning gender-affirming care for minors, and this year, state legislators are considering, among others, a bill to ban drag performances in public places where children may be present.
“First they attacked transgender youth, and now they’re going after transgender adults,” Cummings said. “Are they coming for the rest of the community next? Will they take us out one at a time? Their goal is to take us out completely — so that we’re just in the history books. Then they’ll ban those, too.”