Moon Bar: We don't censor

Managers at other venues agree that Ted Nugent's racially tinged remarks likely would not stop a show. Their contracts with entertainers often don't address contentious comments.

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Posted: Saturday, August 7, 2010 3:50 am

Censorship of entertainers is not common at Dubuque's larger venues.

The Diamond Jo and Mystique casinos and the Five Flags Center do not impede on entertainers' rights to perform as they see fit.

Musician Ted Nugent made racially tinged remarks throughout his show Thursday night at the Mississippi Moon Bar in the Diamond Jo.

Within a few minutes of starting, Nugent commented on the race of his audience and the city of Dubuque.

"There's a lot of white people in this crowd -- I like that! (Dubuque) is a white town."

Nugent also pointed out at least one audience member and questioned his race.

Mississippi Moon Bar Entertainment Manager Scott Thomas said before any musician takes the stage at the Moon Bar, a contract is signed that covers the rules of the establishment -- censorship not being one of them.

"What they do is what they do," Thomas said. "They'll ask what kind of crowd it is, and they'll play for that kind of crowd. We don't censor anybody. The majority of the people know what they're coming to see."

Amy Hull, director of marketing at Mystique, said its entertainment venue also requires a contract between the casino and the artist.

"We tell them what our expectations are and they tell us theirs, and then we negotiate back and forth," Hull said. "But we've never had a problem with artists' comments or behavior before."

Thomas and Hull said casino staffs wouldn't stop a show unless a part of the contract is breached, which rarely happens.

Thomas and Hull said their venues research artists before they come and choose them based on the demographics of the area, the cost and which artists are in the area at the time.

Joyce White, general manager at the Five Flags Center in Dubuque, said the center usually hosts family-friendly events, but she still researches artists before inviting them to perform.

"You ask them not to do rude and lascivious acts. You include that in the contract," White said. "But I don't think Kenny Rogers, Anne Murray or Sesame Street Live are any concern."

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