A September 10 Tucker Carlson event scheduled at Freedom Hill in Sterling Heights has been forced to relocate after the owner of the venue scotched the deal for political reasons, according to event organizers.
The event will now beheld at Jimmy John’s Field in Utica.
The Brighter Michigan PAC is sponsoring the Carlson event. Brighter Michigan Chairman Eric Castiglia had received a commitment from Live Nation to host the former Fox host’s speaking engagement, which will include a musical performance by Slight Return.
“Well, what happened in a nutshell we were told that we had to get permission from the [Macomb County Executive] Mark Hackel,” Castiglia told The Midwesterner.
Castiglia said event co-chair Kevin Rinke had already received Hackel’s approval, but Live Nation representative Dave Clark said he required proof of Hackel’s consent.
The Midwesterner left a voicemail and sent an email seeking comment from Live Nation’s Dave Clark, but as of press time received no response.
A former owner of Freedom Hill who asked The Midwesterner not to publish his name in this article said he received a phone call from Clark’s office, saying “everything is a go.”
He continued: “Eric and Kevin were informed that it was good to go and a few days later they tell me that, ‘No, we’ve changed our policy at Live Nation and we’re not allowing anybody to use the facility.’ We said, ‘Well, we’ve already had it in the books. I understand if in 2024 you want to change the policy, that’s great but we’ve already paid a deposit to Carlson.”
Emails obtained by The Midwesterner indicate the Carlson event organizers attempted in late July to secure an agreement and pay a $25,000 deposit for use of Freedom Hill.
“They made us jump through all those hoops,” Rinke said. “For a week we were filing all the work, getting them all the paperwork, giving them the disclaimers. They were acting like they were going to do it for us.”
He added that ticket sales for the event were already being arranged through Ticketmaster.
MORE NEWS: Northern Lights could be intense this winter
“I’m 95% sure Dave Clark knew all this as far as getting everything set up,” said Freedom Hill’s former owner. “For some reason they just decided that they weren’t going to do it and we don’t know why.”
Rinke noted negotiations with Freedom Hill began in early July, which is when the first talked to Live Nation’s Clark. “We asked for dates and he sent dates back…. Tucker Carlson wanted to do it on a Sunday so [Clark] gave us the day, he gave us the September 10th date.”
Castiglia said the group was told by Live Nation that they would not let anybody rent the facility, which is when they relocated the event to Jimmy John’s Field in Utica.
“The other thing that [Live Nation] said, which is a flag to me, is they don’t want to do a political event,” Castiglia said.
While Freedom Hill’s former owner says he doesn’t remember the Live Nation representative saying that, he does recall the representative referencing a 2024 policy that would not allow political events.
That is a curious change, given Live Nation’s history of staging political events. The company organized former First Lady Michelle Obama’s high-profile book tour in 2022, for example.
The former owner added he had an agreement with Live Nation that he could put on any show at Freedom Hill within one year of selling the property.
“We were talking while I was still part of the venue and we were talking in July so you know the date was accepted, you know, in July,” he said, adding he doesn’t believe the assertion Live Nation has an active policy prohibiting political events.
“I’m not calling him a liar,” he said. “I just think honestly we were done wrong. We had the day, he gave us the date, and then he took the date away from us after dragging this out for weeks,” he said, adding, “Well I mean we had the date we were just waiting for the final confirmation. We got the final confirmation and then it was less than a week later he called Eric and then told us that we couldn’t do the show.”
Organizers say tickets are still available for the September 10 event and can be found here.
On Sept. 1, Dave Clark, Regional President for Live Nation, told The Midwesterner, “We decided to decline new rentals with the promoter involved after repeated cancellations, and were not involved in discussions with any additional parties for this specific event.”