On Friday, The Gateway Pundit reported that renowned beer brand Yuengling is sponsoring a venue hosting a drag show, which will be held in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, as part of Pride month celebrations.
The event, promoted as “Draggin’ with the Divas” and set to occur on Friday, June 30th.
“Need your drag fix before our iconic Musikfest Drag Show? Well, the queens return to Musikfest Cafe pres. by Yuengling on June 30th! Close out Pride Month with a FIERCE show,” the announcement on the festival’s social media read.
After receiving negative feedback, the caption was changed on Thursday to exclude Yuengling as the sponsor.
TGP reported that ArtsQuest’s ticket policy states that “all persons entering a venue, including babies in arms, must have a ticket.” It also states that “attendance of children under 2 years of age may not be recommended for some performances.”
ArtQuest, a longtime partner of Yuengling, issued a statement following our reporting.
The issued statement absolves Yuengling from any involvement and emphasizes the adjustment in the age requirement for show admission, which has been increased to 18 and above.
Yuengling is a longtime supporter of ArtsQuest. Like all of our 300 sponsors, Yuengling does not have any involvement in the acts or content that are booked for our venues. Our sponsors are also not involved in the admission policies for our venues, which vary by event and facility. This includes the Draggin With The Divas show planned at the venue in question, “Musikfest Café Presented by Yuengling.”
ArtsQuest’s mission is to provide access to exceptional artistic, cultural and educational experiences for everyone across our community. Our organization creates programming that is intended to be inclusive and cross all genres, regardless of beliefs.
ArtsQuest will not tolerate hostile activities that may cause divisiveness toward any individual or group. To avoid the confusion and misinformation created between our social media posts and online base ticket policy, we are changing the admission policy for this event to be 18+. We are proud to represent and play a supportive role to the community in which we live.
Yuengling, America’s oldest brewery, also released a statement:
Yuengling has been a supporter of ArtsQuest for many years, along with over 300 local community supporters. We’re proud to be part of their efforts to revitalize an industrial neighborhood in Bethlehem, PA. Through our ArtsQuest sponsorship, we have naming rights to the “Musikfest Café Presented by Yuengling” venue. ArtsQuest independently plans the events and policies that take place at this venue, and all of their other performance areas.
Yuengling actively promotes responsible drinking for patrons 21 years of age and older. We are working to align with ArtsQuest regarding appropriate age restrictions for venues associated with our sponsorship. We support their decision to restrict attendance to 18+ for the June 30th show.
Following our report, it appears that all online references to Yuengling’s sponsorship of LGBT have been deleted as part of damage control, including its last year’s sponsorship of Philly Gay Pride. You can still view it here.