Country superstar Willie Nelson will be performing a political concert for Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke (D-Tex.) later this month, leaving fans with mixed emotions.
Earlier this year during Nelson’s annual Fourth of July Picnic celebration, O’Rourke, a former punk-rock band bassist, took the stage to perform songs “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” with Nelson and his band. However, when Nelson shared the news this week that he would headline a rally for O’Rourke in Austin on September 29, fans went crazy – some even boycotting the singer.
On Nelson’s Facebook page, people began to accuse him of believing in what they called the “socialist” views of O’Rourke; one fan wrote that he doesn’t support “socialist commies.”
“Open your eyes Willie!” Claudia Kirby Heathington wrote. “Beto is a Socialist who probably has lied to you. This is a real shame you support him.”
“Wow what a let down,” Melanie Philip said. “You would pick a socialist agenda and an Anti American fellow like BETO, shame on you.”
Additionally, one tweet garnered a lot of attention by a man who said that he would “no longer willing to watch that hippie guitarist who supports that damn socialist running for Senate,” and offered up his ticket to Nelson’s show on November 16. His tweet backfired, as many people said they would gladly take his ticket and support Nelson’s views.
Someone buy my Willie Nelson ticket for Friday, November 16. I am no longer willing to watch that hippie guitarist who supports that damn socialist running for Senate.
— Dakota Boll (@BollDakota) September 13, 2018
1) Did you not know Willie’s political positions before buying tickets to his concert? 2) You’ll find many willing buyers. Because sh*t is about to seriously change in TX. #BetoForTexas
— JdB (@pianoboy) September 14, 2018
Not sure what went wrong in your life that would make you insult Willie Nelson. You can argue politics all you want but you cannot argue Willie.
— Wheeler Walker, Jr. (@WheelerWalkerJr) September 13, 2018
Nelson has been very open about his political views for his entire career; he’s shown his support for the environment, same-sex marriage, and marijuana legalization. He also has voiced support for President Barack Obama, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Hillary Clinton. In addition to the concert announcement, Nelson explained why he is backing O’Rourke.
“My wife Annie and I have met and spoken with Beto and we share his concern for the direction things are headed,” Nelson said in the release. “Beto embodies what is special about Texas, an energy and an integrity that is completely genuine.”
The concert will take place at Auditorium Shores in Austin on September 29. Nelson’s new record, My Way, is due this Friday via Legacy Recordings.