Comedian Joel Creasey will no longer be performing at the Golden Vine Comedy Night in Bendigo next week with organisers citing “safety concerns”, The Bendigo Advertiser has reported.

“I am so sorry to disappoint my audience in Bendigo. I’ve never cancelled a show before, love performing and love Bendigo—so it’s a bit of an all-around crappy situation. Please know that it goes against my work ethic and I would have done anything for this not to have happened. Thanks to the venue, the organisers and the punters for understanding,” Creasey said via a post on Facebook.

“Unfortunately, Joel has received threats if the show goes ahead and his management has prevented him from doing the show because of safety concerns. So, blame some homophobic a**hole in the Bendigo region,” organisers posted on the event’s Facebook page this morning.

“I think it’s really sad the vocal few would have such an appalling impact,” leader of central Victorian LGBTI advocacy organisation LOUD chair Suellen Pepperell told The Bendigo Advertiser. “I think it’s a loss for Bendigo … People would have loved to have gone to see him.”

Bendigo is known as a very inclusive city, with the Bendigo Queer Film Festival running for 17 years, the Bendigo PRIDE Festival announcing its dates for 2020, while the Marriage Equality Postal Survey vote saw 68.7 per cent of Bendigo voters vote ‘yes’.

“These views are really a minority in the Bendigo region,” said Bendigo community member and former Thorne Harbour Country program coordinator Harry McAnulty.

“It’s really sad a [LGBTI] community member doesn’t feel safe to come to the Bendigo region… We know we have a diverse, multicultural community that is accepting.”

Golden Vine Comedy. Facebook

When the announcement was made this morning, some local community members speculated online that the cancellation could be due to low ticket sales and isn’t a true reflection on the Bendigo community.

However Creasey has addressed those concerns via Facebook stating: “Unfortunately, I have had to cancel my show next week in Bendigo. As this is a serious matter, I didn’t think that specific details around my cancellation would be posted publicly and weren’t approved by me or my management team.

“What’s done is done however, but because this an ongoing matter and a safety issue, it requires an element of privacy. Therefore, I can’t discuss it further.”

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