Jewish Rapper Matisyahu Says U.S. Concerts Canceled Due To Staff Boycotts

Susan S. Xie via Getty Images

Jewish rapper Matisyahu said that U.S. concerts in Tucson and New Mexico were canceled this week due to staff boycotts over what the venues labeled “security concerns.”

In a Thursday post on X, the rapper — born Matthew Paul Miller — wrote that he and his band “should have played a sold out show at Meow Wolf” in NM on Wednesday and was “excited for (Thursday’s) show at the Rialto (Theatre) in Tucson.”

“Instead, the staff at these venues refused to come to work, forcing cancellations,” the post read. “Without our permission or approval, the venue in Santa Fe misinformed our fans cancelling the show was due to ‘security concerns,’ when the only concern was a group of staff unwilling to work my show.”

“Tonight in Tucson, we have offered to supplement their staff shortages on our own dime, but to no avail,” the post added. “They do this because they are either anti-Semitic or have confused their empathy for the Palestinian people with hatred for someone like me who holds empathy for both Israelis and Palestinians.”

“It is truly a sad day when dialogue with those you disagree with is abandoned for hate mongering and silencing artistic expression,” the post continued. “Unfortunately, it seems that more and more people are choosing to cast their lot with actions that tear people apart.”

Initially, the Rialto theater responded and said it had changed its tune and decided the show was still on with a headline that read, “Tucson’s Rialto Theater: Matisyahu Concert Tonight Still On,” only to reverse its decision a short time later, citing staffing shortage and “safety concerns,” the Tucson Star reported.

“Due to safety concerns and staffing shortage, the Rialto Theatre is unable to continue with (Thursday’s) Matisyahu performance,” the Tucson venue wrote on Facebook. “We will always prioritize the safety of our employees and our guests.”


“All purchased tickets will be refunded to their original form of payment,” the venue added Thursday.

A short time later, the rapper countered the cancelation with offering a free concert at a small venue in Tucson called “The Rock.”

A spokesperson for Meow Wolf on Thursday told TMZ, “Yesterday, we canceled a concert at the House of Eternal Return. Two hours before the show was set to begin, we found ourselves without adequate staff to safely manage the sold out crowd.”

“Meow Wolf will always prioritize the safety of our employees and our guests,” the statement added. “We are in the process of refunding all ticket holders.”

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