HARTFORD – On Monday, country superstar Tim McGraw announced he will headline a concert to benefit Sandy Hook Promise at the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford on July 17. Since the announcement, backlash online has spread across the country.
All of the net proceeds from the show will be donated to Sandy Hook Promise, which was founded in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy.
McGraw says the cause is close to his heart. His fiddle player, Dean Brown, is a longtime friend to Mark Barden. Barden, a musician, lost his son Daniel in the 2012 shooting.
“I look forward to being a part of a night of hope and promise and music that will help continue the great work that Sandy Hook Promise is doing,” said Brown.
But, soon after the concert was announced, many people called him a hypocrite and called the concert a “Gun Control Fundraiser.” Even fellow country music stars were tweeting about it.
Blog posts and tweets attack McGraw and other performers Billy Currington and Chase Bryant.
But not all of the response was negative. Many people are proud the proceeds from their concert tickets are being donated and wanted to clarify that it is not an “anti-gun” show.
On Thursday afternoon, McGraw released a statement to The Washington Post explaining his motivation behind the concert:
Let me be clear regarding the concert for Sandy Hook given much of the erroneous reporting thus far. As a gun owner, I support gun ownership. I also believe that with gun ownership comes the responsibility of education and safety – most certainly when it relates to what we value most, our children. I can’t imagine anyone who disagrees with that.
Through a personal connection, I saw first-hand how the Sandy Hook tragedy affected families and I felt their pain. The concert is meant to do something good for a community that is recovering.
Tickets will go on sale Friday, April 17 at 10 a.m. through LiveNation.com and Ticketmaster.