Pop star Kesha has canceled her scheduled Feb. 26 performance at Loyola, according to the university’s Department of Programming (DOP). This is the second time Kesha has canceled an appearance at Loyola since 2014.
This came just one week after a judge denied Kesha’s attempt to be freed from a contract with Sony, a multinational entertainment company, and producer Lukasz Sebastian “Dr. Luke” Gottwald. The ruling stemmed from a 2014 civil suit in which Kesha alleged that Dr. Luke drugged and sexually assaulted her during her time with Kemosabe Records, the record label owned by the producer.
In the aftermath of the judge’s decision, #FreeKesha trended nationwide on Twitter as a show of support with Kesha. Musical artists Demi Lovato, Taylor Swift, Snoop Dogg, Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus are among the biggest names in the industry who have shown their support, with Swift announcing she donated $250,000 to help Kesha with legal costs.
Several hundred Loyola students were expected to rally in support of the singer on the university’s campus prior to Friday’s concert. On the rally’s Facebook page, 530 students confirmed they would attend the event while another nearly 1,000 students were “interested” in the rally. The event’s planners described the show of solidarity as a “protest of rape culture” and encouraged students to wear teal, which is the official color for sexual violence awareness.
Kesha’s management had team requested demonstrators avoid bringing posters into the arena, according to the rally’s organizers.
The DOP’s yearly event featuring one musical entertainer and one comedian — called Colossus — was scheduled to feature Kesha on Feb. 26 and comedian Nick Offerman on Feb. 27.
On Feb. 23, the Damen Student Center stopped selling tickets to Kesha’s portion of Colossus, according to a student worker at Damen who chose to remain anonymous. Online ticket sales have also been halted.
In 2014, Kesha (then Ke$ha) canceled a March Colossus appearance citing her doctor’s advice to continue rehabilitation for an eating disorder. After the cancellation, DOP announced they would refund tickets to that performance.
DOP announced full refunds will be issued for all tickets purchased to the concert.
Nick Offerman is still scheduled to make his appearance on Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. in Loyola’s Gentile Arena.