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Bon Jovi Cancels New York State Fair Appearance; Will Play Gov. Cuomo Fundraiser

The band pulled out of its Aug. 28 show, which was expected to generate $1.1 million in revenue.

Bon Jovi PR 2013 black and white P
Sante D'Orazio

Bon Jovi fans who were living on a prayer that the band would perform at the New York State Fair this month were in for a dose of bad medicine when the show was canceled, allegedly due to an upcoming performance at a political fundraiser for Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Bon Jovi was scheduled to appear on Aug. 28 at the Fair in Syracuse, which was expected to draw about 17,000 fans. A lawyer for the New York’s Department of Agriculture and Markets reportedly requested that the $650,000 contract be withdrawn on July 30.  The concert was projected to net $1.1 million in revenue.

The group will play the fundraiser on Aug. 25 for Cuomo to an intimate crowd of 100 at the $1,000 a plate affair.

Reports, including one on UltimateClassicRock.com, indicate that the decision to pull out of the State Fair appearance was in an effort to save political face, as there would be a conflict “playing a private show for the governor and then three days later being paid $650,00 to perform at the fair."

Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzorpardi counters: “The contract was pulled at the request of the band for scheduling conflicts."

Local reaction has not been positive, according to Lee Ann Taylor, the morning show host on the Binghamton, New York, classic rock station, 99.1 The Whale.

“The New York State Fair is struggling and Bon Jovi would have been a huge boost for them like Aerosmith a few years back,” Taylor said.  “Choosing politics over the people is becoming  a disturbing trend with music artists, and the musicians need to remember who put them in the position to go to perform at these fundraisers to begin with. Upstate New York is hurting, and Bon Jovi would have lifted her spirits."

Twitter: @MicheleAmabile