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Afroman down, Muck up

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Muck Sticky - SUBMITTED PHOTO
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  • Muck Sticky

The sense of irony was overwhelming when I spoke to Muck Sticky three weeks ago regarding his Indianapolis show. His stop in Indianapolis on March 19th at the 5th Quarter Lounge was to be a part of his first big national co-headlining tour, a reward after years of playing one-off shows for fans of his quirky brand of posi, weed-infused humor, a tour with Afroman who had also built his career on similar ground.

Then came the punch.

"Afroman we've had three other times, so that's out of character for him," says Jamin Brust of Durtimyndz Entertainment, the show's promoter. "He's always showed up early for shows, he's always hung out with the crowd, he's never been that type of dude around us before. That's why it threw us for a loop too. We'd never seen that side of him."

It left everyone scrambling to figure out how to turn things around. Would the whole mess just blow over once another celebrity did something stupid?

"Do I want to be part of something that is related to something that is so bad and terrible?" Muck Sticky asked, regarding the physical assault charges levied against Afroman. "Absolutely not! I want to be as far away from it as possible. But I still want the fans to be able to come to a show, to have a good time at an event they were looking forward to, and have that positive experience."

Promoters were in the same boat, hoping to find a way to save the show once Afroman officially bailed from the lineup. (He publicly retired with an announcement on Facebook soon after.) Someone suggested to Brust he shift the show toward raising money for a battered women's shelter, but Brust was concerned it might look like they were taking advantage of the Afroman situation. Instead, he chose to focus on Indianapolis' Julian Center, which fights against domestic violence of all kinds.

Local bands already on the bill immediately got on board. Indyca recruited Russ Baum & Huck Finn to join a strong under-card of bands all leading to Muck Sticky as the main headliner, with the goal of bringing something good from an all-around terrible situation.

"Positive opportunity is always staring you in the face," Baum says. "Domestic abuse hits close to the heart because it happens in the home behind closed doors. Being [part of] this concert is like kicking down those doors and saying 'No!' A strong positive environment can make a difference."

Muck says if fans take one thing from this whole mess, it's that you can make the world a better place even if it's one action at a time.

"My show is all about positivity and having a good time, walking away at the end of the night feeling inspired to go make the world a better place. I think we should make the best out of a bad situation. What people should be doing right now, period, regardless, is to not make it worse."

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