Country music vocalist Carly Tefft alleges her performances were cancelled by a Cape Cod venue after she sang the national anthem at a Donald Trump rally in April. Tefft was a guest on the Howie Carr Show and spoke out about the incident.
The Dennis-based Harvest Gallery called up the singer just five days after her performance and cancelled her future gigs citing “controversy” and that her presence would make their clientele feel “threatened.”
Tefft brings to light how although previously having performed at the restaurant multiple times, the owner used the comparison that her placing on the music schedule was the same as hanging nudity artwork on the wall.
Tefft commented that the owner asked if she was a Trump supporter, to which she replied that she only supported God. The owner then cancelled the rest of her scheduled shows.
Speaking of the cancellation, Tefft stated that although it was a new experience for her, she held no resentment. However, she raises the valid point that if the same behaviour extends to her kids or anyone else’s children in the future, it would be unacceptable.
The incident highlights the importance of how politics can impact art and business.
Since the cancellation, Carly Tefft has since tweeted a video of her song “Freedom in This Country,” and raised a question whether she ought to re-release the tune.
Tefft was not naive to the fact that her performance would cause polarising reactions, however, she believed that it presented an opportunity.
The Harvest Gallery is a unique restaurant venue based in Massachusetts, built on the foundation of art and music. According to Mass Vacation, the Dennis restaurant is often frequented by artists who are invited by the owner to exhibit their art in the walls of the restaurant.
The establishment hosts live music events, showcases several local musicians. Despite the incident, the owner has allowed Tefft to continue to eat and drink at the bar.
Carly Tefft’s experience emphasises how the entertainment industry is often under stress from political pressure. Regardless of your political views, these incidents raise opportunities for important discussions about politics and art.
Government officials, entertainers, and businesses can leverage each other’s popularity to support their cause.
As a rising country artist, Tefft’s experience reiterates how politics and entertainment can mix in unexpected ways.
The arts and music sector is often seen as playing an important role in society, by providing the emotional and intellectual required for politicians to earn support from their constituents.
The issue also raises fundamental questions about the appropriateness of imposing one’s partisan views on another’s ability to perform or operate their business.
Entertainment should not be politicised, and it should be entirely up to the individual whether or not they should publicly support any political candidate or figure.
Although not the first artist to be impacted by political leanings, Carly Tefft’s experience highlights how sensitive the entertainment industry remains to political influences.
This incident raises important debates around freedom of speech limitations and whether the restaurant had a right to cancel her appearances.
Tefft’s experience should be seen as a call to action, for government officials to always be alert to trends in the entertainment industry and the nature of protests in a new age of politics.
We should recognise our collective responsibility to support and encourage opportunities to come together over shared beliefs and values.
The incident is also a reminder of how severely political correctness has curtailed industry freedom of expression. People with competing beliefs are suppressed. Carly would be better off using her talent to revolutionise the industry through her music, rather than allow politics to drive it.
Tefft’s experience with The Harvest Gallery may serve as an example for other artists on the appropriate way to handle such situations. It emphasises the importance of having a business plan and what one’s brand means to their customers.
By having a clear idea of where her values lie, she recognised that she had a base of fans that wanted to hear her sing, irrespective of who she voted for.
Tefft’s experience is an invaluable teaching moment for many young and upcoming artists who may be concerned about how political views may hamper their career growth.
By ensuring that their brand is reflected in their music, they can maintain a following of true fans irrespective of the criticism they may face.
Tefft’s important message highlights the challenges business owners face in a divided political climate who must ensure that their business model appeals to both liberals and conservatives.
By diffusing partisanship in the establishment, business owners avoid controversial political affiliations that are bound to cost them business and in the long term, affect their revenue.
Ultimately, Tefft’s experience reminds us of the importance of keeping politics separate from business. Even though many business owners and artists are divided on political issues, politicking should never infringe on an individual’s career or business.
By keeping this ideal in mind, entrepreneurs and artists can attract a more diverse clientele, strengthen their brand, and broaden their prospects for success.
Tefft’s situation highlights the importance of a clear alignment of values between business owners and artists they’re representing.
By understanding the value their services bring, artists and entrepreneurs can leverage those values to grow their brand and strengthen their base. The incident raises important questions about how to navigate political divisions in the entertainment industry and presents an opportunity to forge a way forward and beyond politically-motivated cancellations in the arts and entertainment sectors.