Metal stars Baroness nix Varsity gig over allegations against venue owner

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Baroness

Baroness are anything but quiet, and that trait is not limited to their thunderous music. 

The buzzy Georgia metal band announced their August 23 stop in Minneapolis will be moved from the Varsity Theater due to concerns over child sex abuse lawsuits filed against the venue's owner, Jason McLean.

The band posted the following message to Facebook on Tuesday:  

"All Minneapolis/Minnesotan Baroness fans and ticket-holders:

Due to some very disturbing allegations surrounding the club where we had originally booked our upcoming show, we have decided to side with our conscience and change the venue for our August 23 show.

All tickets bought prior to this announcement will be honored in-full at the new venue, The Cabooze (917 Cedar Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404.) We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but the it was a necessary decision and we hope you understand. See you soon!"

McLean, 62, a former actor with the Children's Theatre Company, is alleged to have abused at least five female students from 1981 to 1985, according to a 2014 civil complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court in Minneapolis. 

In January, popular Twin Cities DJ Jake Rudh moved his monthly Transmission dance night away from the Varsity. The move came after calls to boycott Transmission due to its affiliation with the Dinkytown venue. 

“The Varsity has 60 employees who depend on their jobs for a living,” Varsity senior manager Lynn Nyman said in a statement at the time. “No one alleges the employees did anything wrong. They are the people who are most harmed by a boycott of the business."

Punk band Against Me! relocated their June concert in Minneapolis away from the Varsity because of the allegations against McLean, according to frontwoman Laura Jane Grace.

Reps from the Varsity did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday. McLean also owns the nearby Loring Pasta Bar.  

Baroness are currently touring in support of last year's Purple LP, the follow-up to their breakout 2012 album Yellow & Green. Find information about their relocated Minneapolis concert here


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