Two more sponsors pull out of Chris Brown concert in Halifax

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Three sponsors have now pulled their support for a summer musical festival in Halifax headlined by controversial music star Chris Brown.

In the wake of public petitions and protests, Molson Canadian and Halifax-based spa Touch of Radiance announced Monday they would be withdrawing their sponsorship from the event. On Saturday, Rogers Communications did the same.

“We decided to no longer pursue partnership with this year’s event. The feedback we’ve received from the fans has echoed out decision not to participate,” Molson Canadian said in a statement.

The American R&B star’s upcoming concert on Aug. 31 has sparked protests and angry outbursts on social media.

On Monday, an online petition to remove Brown from the concert skyrocketed over the afternoon from 1,156 signatures at 2:30 p.m. to 3,907 by 7:00 p.m.

“Chris Brown is as well known for his violent beating of his former girlfriend Rihanna. As a city, I believe it reflects poorly on us to not only host such an artist, but to make him the headliner of this show,” said the petition, posted by Halifax resident Nichole Snow.

Even the city’s Mayor Mike Savage denounced the star in recent days, but added that there is little the city can do to interfere.

“We have to be careful in telling people what they can listen to, what they can read, what they can hang on the wall, what goes in public museums, and things like that. It’s a bit of a tricky line. But personally, I’m not happy,” he told CTV Atlantic’s Marie Adsett.

Brown was sentenced to five years of probation and six months of community labour for assaulting his then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009.

The public outcry is not without precedent. Last year, Brown was scheduled to perform in Guyana but cancelled after catching the ire of women’s rights groups over his history of violence.

Brown’s current controversy in Halifax came as a Los Angeles judge revoked Brown’s probation after details of an alleged hit-and-run accident surfaced. Brown was not ordered to go to jail.

Concert organizers say they are still confident the show will go on and that tickets will sell.

“It’s not my position to defend or endorse any of Chris Brown’s past behaviour. In this case, what we are promoting is the fact that Chris Brown is a multi-platinum award winning artist of international calibre,” Drop Entertainment’s Stephen Tobin said.

Tickets for the concert go on sale Wednesday.

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