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Anti-EU Campaign Leave.EU See Brexit Concert Plans Shattered After Sister Sledge And East 17 Pull Out

Ironically, everyone's leaving the 'Leave' event.

25/05/2016 18:23

Plans for a pro-Brexit pop concert have spectacularly fallen through, after almost the entire line-up said they were pulling out and cancelled their performances.

Sister Sledge and East 17 today followed Alesha Dixon and 5ive in announcing they would be withdrawing from the anti-EU event that Nigel Farage had tipped as the "biggest rally in modern British political history".

The musical acts had been due to share a stage with the Ukip leader at a ticketed event for 15,000 people at the Birmingham NEC just a week before Brits go to the polls to vote on the country's membership of the EU

But in a blow to Leave.EU's planned concert, four of the five acts have now refused to play at the bPop concert.

Twitter/LeaveEUOfficial
A poster advertising the concert

Only ex-Rose Royce singer Gwen Dickey is still confirmed to perform. 

Dixon and 5ive both revealed on Tuesday that they were pulling the plug on their appearances because they had not previously known the performance would be at a Brexit rally. 

A spokesperson for Dixon explained: “When Alesha was approached to perform at this event it was on the understanding that this was a multi-artist pop concert in a fantastic venue in the heart of the UK and Alesha would be there purely as an entertainer.

“It has now come to light that this is more of a political rally with entertainment included and we have decided to withdraw Alesha from the event."

Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Dixon confirmed she was pulling out of the event on Tuesday

Similarly 5ive - who are now down to just two members - also revealed they would not be taking to the stage, with a representative for the band insisting: “As it has come to light that this is more a political rally with entertainment included they have both decided to cancel their involvement.”

It comes after a stark warning in the run-up to the EU referendum by Lord Rennard, who said millions of people would not be on the electoral register and have their chance at casting a vote in the historic poll scuppered. 

The peer and chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group said: "Many millions of people will not be on the register, and won't be able to take part in the referendum. Some, unaware of the deadline, will register too late.

"Before the last general election, 186,000 applied after the deadline. Despite the efforts of Bite The Ballot's #TurnUp campaign, this may happen again, and many people may think that they're already registered and turn up at the polls anyway."

Louisa Collins-Marsh/PA Archive
Lord Rennard fears 180,000 people might register to vote too late... again

Campaign groups have struggled to attract young voters in particular, employing a variety of tactics and promotional ads to bolster the under-25s vote.

From former teen TV presenters to elder statesmen, grey-haired experts to branded condoms, Britain's youth vote must surely feel underserved.  

Here are 6 tragic signs EU campaigners aren't down with the kids...

  • Condoms... in favour of pulling out
    BRIDIEPJONES/TWITTER
    Vote Leave took top marks for cringe when it introduced branded condoms advocating pulling out of the EU.

    The pro-Brexit campaign have issued the promotional prophylactics to students at several universities. 

    After a reported success, Vote Leave confirmed a "second, larger, load" had been ordered.

    But some students thought the idea was, well, icky.
  • June Sarpong... to talk to the youf
    Tristan Fewings via Getty Images
    The recruitment of television presenter June Sarpong as youth spokesperson for the Stronger IN campaign came as a surprise to some.

    That's because the 38-year-old had been largely forgotten since she hosted Channel 4's cult teen brand T4 - having fronted the weekends of millions of young people over the years.

    Yet her current job as a Loose Woman means she now has two very different target audiences.
  • 5ive Not Out
    Havakuk Levison / Reuters
    00s band 5ive pulled out of so-called "Brexit gig" in Birmingham endorsed by Leave.EU campaigners.

    The band, which included in its hey-day, Richard 'Abs' Breen, Sean Conlon, Richard Neville, Jason 'J' Brown and Scott Robinson, recently reformed as a duo.

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Nonetheless, the band pulled out of a BPop Live event in Birmingham on 19 June organised by those in favour of leaving the EU.

    Their management said the event was too political. "The band have no political allegiances or opinions for either side," a statement given to the BBC read.
  • A lack of Mis-Teeq
    Vincent West / Reuters
    Singer Alesha Dixon also pulled out of the "Brexit gig" in Birmingham.

    The former 'Mis-Teeq' member had a huge hit with 'Scandalous' in 2003 decided she didn't want the scandal of being associated with Brexit.

    "Alesha has no political allegiances either way on this issue," a spokesperson said.
  • Young people debate with no young people
    PA
    The average age of panelists in the BBC's upcoming young people's debate on the EU is 59.

    For Remain, Alan Johnson, 66, a former Labour home secretary and Alex Salmond, 61, the former leader of the SNP.

    For Leave, Diane James, 56, a Ukip spokesperson, Liam Fox, 54, former government minister, and youngest panelist.

    All will try to "relate" to young people during a debate in Glasgow.

    The BBC's Victoria Derbyshire will host and the panel will field questions from a young audience on Thursday 26 May.
  • Cringin'
    Stronger IN
    Stronger IN made a strong decision to delete the letter 'g' from all of its young people campaign materials. 

    "Chillin, meetin, tourin, votin," one poster read.

    Reaction online was predictably.. searin'. 

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