Matchbox Twenty won't ride into this rodeo

April 10, 2008
Los Angeles Times, LA Unleashed
by Francisco Vara-Orta

NOTE: More info on Matchbox Twenty and the band's statement here.

Matchbox Twenty has pulled out as the July 18 opening act at Cheyenne, Wyo.'s, Frontier Days, possibly due to accusations by an Illinois-based animal-rights organization of animal cruelty at the rodeo, the Coloradoan newspaper reports.

Although the band's representatives do not cite reasons for the cancellation, Steve Hindi, president of Showing Animals Respect & Kindness, or SHARK, said Matchbox Twenty withdrew after reviewing videotapes provided by SHARK. The videos, Hindi said, show shocked and injured animals being dragged at the 2005 and 2007 Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeos.

The booking company for Frontier Days, Omaha-based Romeo Entertainment Group, also confirmed that Matchbox Twenty had provided written notice that the band was canceling the show, but gave no explanation as to why.

SHARK officials previously claimed that "American Idol" winner and vegetarian Carrie Underwood backed out of performing at Cheyenne Frontier Days in 2006 after learning of similar animal cruelty accusations.

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