The West Beach Music Festival bills itself as a “family friendly” event, but the lineup on Sunday evening was anything but. While references to illicit drug use during a predominantly reggae lineup are to be expected, the profanity-laced set by Pepper was over the top. The explicit sexual references, the statements designed to incite partial nudity by the female audience, the liberal dropping of F-bombs-all this might be appropriate for an adult-themed performance at a regular music venue, but it’s completely out-of-line for an event that boasts a “kids’ stage” and a bouncy house.
I know that some will respond that children had no place at this event, or perhaps should have be taken home before the final lineup on Sunday, but that’s not how the event was promoted. At the very least, there should have been fair warning, a simple advisory on the ticket would have sufficed. The kids I was with won’t be scarred for life, and it wasn’t the most traumatic experience I’ve ever had, but I am disappointed in the organizers of the show.
As for Pepper, it’s fine to want to distance yourselves from your radio-friendly hits, but show some respect: The people who bought your albums and praised your singles are the ones who got you to that main stage. Insulting the audience, bragging about taking hits of acid before the show, and bemoaning the fact that you’d rather be drinking in the beer garden than up on stage-those actions show zero class, and I, for one, am no longer a fan. – Elizabeth Cutright