Matt Arsenault, A LOSS FOR WORDS
I think what has happened at Rocketown in Nashville is beyond ridiculous. I have known the employee that was fired for this disgusting reason for several years and he is such an amazing person—one of the few employees that stood out to me from when I played and attended shows there. He was a dedicated and passionate employee to the venue and the scene. I had respect for the venue—as all venues till they prove me otherwise. I think the venue made a terrible mistake by revealing how closed-minded they actually are. Punk rock and hardcore are all about being open and welcoming everyone and if a venue puts on these shows, one would assume said venue shared the same passion and beliefs. So I would love to see what they have to say defending themselves. Things like this don't go unnoticed. Too bad that in 2013 things like this are still happening.
Luke, Schwartz, MAKE DO AND MEND
Our band completely disagrees with the actions taken against our friend Wes Breedwell. Rocketown is not registered as a church, therefore they did not have the right to fire Wes for wearing a shirt stating his support for marriage equality. Growing up in Alabama and living in Nashville for a bit, I've spent a lot of time at Rocketown. Whether it be attending a show or playing a show there, I've always had a good time. It has the backbone to be what every young punk wants and needs: a stage to jump off of and a skatepark to skate. It is a place to get away from the outside world when it is wearing them down. Wes, Sasha, RC and the majority of the staff at Rocketown looked out for these kids and hung out with them and treated them like they'd known them for years, not caring about these kids backgrounds, race or sexuality. It didn't matter. The fact that Rocketown let their ignorant, outdated morals get in the way of that is so upsetting. We definitely take Wes' side in this matter and will not be playing this venue or stepping foot in it ever again. We urge other bands and showgoers to boycott Rocketown and all other businesses and organizations who openly practice bigotry and discrimination of any kind. MDAM support same-sex marriage.
THE STORY SO FAR
As a band we do our best to endorse and support causes and people we believe in. We aren't the most political band, but we felt the need to distance ourselves from this business. This is a situation in which we feel that actions speak louder than words. One love.
Dan “Soupy” Campbell, THE WONDER YEARS
The greater issue here to me is that Rocketown is meant to be a safe and constructive place for the youth of Nashville. This hard stance against equality is troubling, and I'm deeply saddened for any LGBT youth that attend Rocketown for any reason, concert or otherwise, that may now be upset and confused by why this center, that is meant to be a positive place for them, has now taken action to show that they feel that LGBT people are lesser and don't deserve the same rights.
Obviously, not all Christians are anti-gay. The staff we've worked with at Rocketown—both Christian and non-Christian, Wes included—have always been welcoming and understanding. I've had long conversations with them about issues like these over dinner a number of times, and I have a lot of respect for them for looking at their religion critically and letting their morality and logic guide them. It's because of this open-mindedness we were always happy and excited to support Rocketown and made it a point to play there over other [venues] a number of times.
In the future, I sincerely doubt that my band and many like ours will perform at this venue. Did they have the right to fire Wes? Maybe, from a legal standpoint. Does that mean that I should continue to bring revenue into an organization that is vocally anti-gay rights? Absolutely not.
I imagine Wes will end up as the talent buyer at another venue. I imagine =a lot of shows will shift to that venue, and I imagine a new chapter beginning for this scene in Nashville.
Tim Landers, TRANSIT
[We] couldn't disagree more with the action the venue took. There is no reason to force beliefs upon anyone. What they did was ignorant and childish. This is one of my main problems with religion.
Transit will not be playing at Rocketown in the future. Not unless things change. Why would we? We believe in same-sex marriage—apparently we are not welcome.