New Orleans officials butt heads over featured entertainment for upcoming New Years Rockin' Eve
NEW ORLEANS - Award-winning christian music singer and songwriter Lauren Daigle has become the center of a spat between New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and a few state officials, such as Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser.
According to WWL-TV, some state leaders view Daigle, a Lafayette native, as a welcome addition to the Crescent City's New Year's Rockin' Eve New Orleans celebration.
But Mayor Cantrell feels quite differently, and even officially requested that Daigle not be a part of the festivities.
WWL-TV explains that Cantrell's request has its root in Daigle's performance during an unpermitted concert that took place in the French Quarter during the pandemic.
But the November event, called 'Let Us Worship,' was not organized by Daigle and her performance during the concert has been labeled as 'impromptu.'
Even so, Cantrell feels strongly that the singer's decision to be a part of an unpermitted gathering set a poor example and because of this, the mayor is hesitant to publicly promote Daigle.
“Unfortunately," Cantrell explains, "the participation of Ms. Daigle in that ‘Let us Praise’ event did not speak to the needs of this city and uplift our people as it relates to public health.”
But Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser believes the mayor's personal feelings prompted the mayor to write a letter to Dick Clark Productions, requesting Daigle be removed from the “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” celebration.
He also noted that there is no signed deal for Daigle to perform, simply a local agreement to have her sing.
State Attorney General Jeff Landry, likewise, spoke out in support of Daigle. WWL-TV reports that he wrote the singer a letter, in which he referred to the mayor’s actions as “retaliation.”
Nungesser even offered to hold the event on the Westbank, using New Orleans as a backdrop, so that Daigle could perform there.
“Hopefully we’ll get past it, whether the mayor does something or not,” Nungesser said.
While NOLA's public health amid the pandemic remains a priority for city officials, community leaders also hope to see the city continue to maintain its reputation as a unique tourist spot that features exciting festivals in celebration of its rich cultural history.
On that note, the city’s communication director, Beau Tidwell, said, “The New Year’s Eve celebration remains a priority for us. It’s something that could potentially create up to 60 gigs that night for locals who are professionals in the film industry.”
So, even if Daigle doesn’t perform, WWL-TV notes that some type of celebration is still expected.
"The mayor said she was going to get some local musicians to perform. I’m not sure whether she’s doing it with Dick Clark or not,” Nungesser said.
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