Chris Brown will be headlining the Energy Rush Festival when it comes to MTS Centre on Thursday, August 29, 2013.

The show doesn’t come without controversy, many Canadians have petitioned to stop the concert due to Chris Brown’s violent history. On March 5, 2009, Brown was charged with felony assault and making criminal threats to his girlfriend, Rihanna. He issued an apology on YouTube which can be viewed here.

Drop Entertainment, producers of the show, issued the following statement regarding the controversy:

Whenever dealing with celebrities of Chris Brown’s calibre, there is bound to be mixed reaction. For this reason, I am not at all surprised to hear that there has been some negative response generated by some people in the Halifax area. However, in our other markets, including Toronto and Winnipeg, the reaction to this announcement has been nothing short of electric and overwhelmingly positive.

In no way do we condone Chris Brown’s past behavior or personal endeavors; we are purely focused on his music, incredible talent and overall popularity. I believe it is a very slippery slope when we start trying to censor, or dictate, who can or cannot perform in this province. There are thousands of people in the Maritimes who want to see Chris Brown perform. If some do not want to support him, or this homegrown event, they can exercise their right by simply choosing not to attend. But everyone is free to make their own choices and no one has the right to prevent others from having a chance to see this world-class performer, should they choose to do so.

Chris Brown is a multi-platinum, award-winning artist and we are thrilled to be welcoming him to Canada. Although he is as controversial as he is talented, there is no denying that he is one of the biggest, boldest names in the music industry today. With the momentum of Chris’s new album, set to release in August, we have full confidence
these Canadian performances will be both well received, and very well attended.

Rogers Wireless, a long time sponsor of the Energy Rush Festival in Halifax, recently pulled sponsorship of the show after learning that Chris Brown was headlining the event.

“Rogers has been a sponsor of the Energy Rush concert series for the last seven years, an opportunity that has brought many popular musical acts to metro Halifax. Our agreement to continue sponsorship of the series was made before Chris Brown’s appearance was announced. However, as soon as he was confirmed as one of eight performers, we decided to withdraw our sponsorship at this time. We have shared a great partnership with the local radio station for the last seven years and we appreciate their understanding of our decision.” – Rogers Spokesperson

Chris Browns Rep responded to Rogers with the following: “It’s a shame that some people are so short-sighted and uninformed. Chris is an award-winning artist whose goal is to inspire and entertain. He engages in many philanthropic endeavors to support his community and communities worldwide including the Jenesse Center Domestic Violence Intervention Program, Best Buddies, AIDS Project Los Angeles, Kids Wish Network, Get Schooled and Home Again. He’s just embarked on the Unity Campaign to bring people together despite their differences while promoting tolerance and forgiveness. Chris strives to learn from his past and to grow as a person, as we should all do. Chris is looking forward to being a part of the Energy Rush Concert Series.”

More acts will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets go on sale Friday, July 17 and range from $59.75 – $164.75. [TICKETMASTER]