Activists plan protest at Bill Cosby's Cobb Energy show May 2

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 17: Protesters gather outside of a Bill Cosby show on January 17, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Riccardo Savi/Getty Images) DENVER, CO - JANUARY 17: Protesters gather outside of a Bill Cosby show on January 17, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Riccardo Savi/Getty Images)
Caption
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 17: Protesters gather outside of a Bill Cosby show on January 17, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Riccardo Savi/Getty Images) DENVER, CO - JANUARY 17: Protesters gather outside of a Bill Cosby show on January 17, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Riccardo Savi/Getty Images)

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Thursday, April 16, 2015

A group of activists appalled by Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults on women over multiple decades are planning to protest inside and outside his upcoming Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre concert date May 2.

At the same time, protest organizers are pressuring the Nashville-based concert promoter Outback Concerts to cancel the concert via calls, emails, social media and petitions.

As of Thursday afternoon, the concert was still on.

It's the only show on Cosby's current "Far From Finished schedule that has not been postponed or cancelled. Since comic Hannibal Buress accused him on stage in Philadelphia October 16, 2014 of being a "rapist" and dozens of women have come forth making similar allegations, Cosby has nixed several concerts.

Shows dropped in April include dates in Green Bay, Wisc., Tacoma, Wash., Albany, N.Y. and Rochester, N.Y. Concerts in June and July in Santa Rosa, Calif., Cupertino, Calif. and Providence R.I. are no longer for sale either.

"We are hoping this is his final concert ever," said Brandy Betts, a Chicago resident who plans to fly down to Atlanta for the protest.

Betts said protest volunteers are making calls to Atlanta area rape crisis centers, women’s shelters, sororities and church groups to bolster attendance. She said they also plan to have people inside the building ready to make their presence known to Cosby.

Andrew Wyatt, a spokesman for Cosby, declined to comment about the protests.

Sara Georgiadis, a retired Savannah-based business owner, said some of the 40-plus women who have publicly accused Cosby of abuse charges are planning to attend.

Cosby himself has not addressed the assault allegations directly though his representatives have denied any of the events ever happened.

In Denver in January, about 100 protesters showed up outside the Buell Theatre, chanting "Don't drink the water," alluding to claims Cosby drugged his alleged victims' drinks. In Baltimore last month, 15 minutes into the show, several protesters jeered him from the balcony, according to the Washington Post.

“Just remain calm,” Cosby said on stage, according to the Post. “We are here to enjoy my gift. We are not here to argue. Let those people speak. We will find them and ask them to leave.” The protesters were led out of the building.

The last time Cosby performed in a public setting was in Charleston, W.V. March 28. The West Virgina Gazette reported that the Charleston Municipal Auditorium was about half full. No protesters showed up. He performed at a sold-out Classic Center in Athens last October 26 without incident.

At many concerts, audiences reportedly gave him standing ovations.

The Cobb Energy show is not accepting refunds.  S. Russel Kennedy, Cobb Energy assistant box office manager has been sending this email out to patrons seeking their money back: "Unfortunately, the venue's contractual obligations with Mr. Cosby allow for no refunds for this show."

Demand has been weak on third-party ticket sales marketplaces. Rukkus, which tracks tickets from multiple sites, said the average offer price of Cosby tickets for the May 2 concert is down 33 percent compared to his Cobb appearance in 2013.

As of Thursday afternoon, ticketing vendor Stubhub had 239 tickets for sale for the Cosby show, with more than 50 below face value ($71 to $91.50 on Ticketmaster after fees). There were several tickets in the first 10 rows available on Stubhub for less than $50 apiece including front-row seats for just $41 each.

Cobb Centre's capacity is 2,750 seats.

MELBOURNE, FL - NOVEMBER 21: Actor Bill Cosby performs at the King Center for the Performing Arts on November 21, 2014 in Melbourne, Florida. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images) MELBOURNE, FL - NOVEMBER 21: Actor Bill Cosby performs at the King Center for the Performing Arts on November 21, 2014 in Melbourne, Florida. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)
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MELBOURNE, FL - NOVEMBER 21: Actor Bill Cosby performs at the King Center for the Performing Arts on November 21, 2014 in Melbourne, Florida. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images) MELBOURNE, FL - NOVEMBER 21: Actor Bill Cosby performs at the King Center for the Performing Arts on November 21, 2014 in Melbourne, Florida. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

My previous Cosby concert stories:

Explore4/8/15: Cosby show not taking refunds
Explore1/22/15: Cosby show still has plenty of seats available
Explore11/21/14  Cosby show at Cobb remains alive

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