Kevin Costner has played Robin Hood, Bull Durham and Superman’s dad in some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters – but he was turned away from taking the stage at this summer’s Sportbeat festival as his act wasn’t considered right for the show.
The decision by organisers to reject one of Hollywood’s best known stars is testament to how far the festival has come in 12 months.
But Costner’s country rockers Modern West won't be on the bill. Saturday night's headliners to 90s R&B act Soul II Soul.
Modern West has played all over the world and released two albums.
The Oscar-winning actor, who starred in Hollywood flop Waterworld, may have felt at home in Plock Court. It is an area famous for spending much of the winter underwater due to flooding.
Festival organiser Jody Gooding, said Sportbeat had been in lengthy discussions with many agents of bands, but were surprised to be approached by Costner’s representatives.
“We were booking bands and doing the rounds with all the agencies to see what acts were available and one agent said would we be interested in Kevin Costner,” he said.
“At first I thought it was a joke, I didn’t know he played in a band. He plays in a rock band and felt it wasn’t quite right for what we were after.
“On one hand it would have been quite good, but it would have been bizarre. One of our crew said he had seen Kevin’s band play at V-Festival. Apparently, when he is over here filming, he looks to play gigs at weekends to keep busy.
“I was trying to get my head around Kevin Costner at Plock Court. It was a bit of a gamble. If they had been really bad, it could have been quite funny and more of a comedy act.”
Jody stressed it's not that Costner and his crew were deemed 'not good enough' for Sportbeat, just that they didn't fit with the festival's balance.
Organisers were banking on an unnamed US soul act who were hoping to celebrate their 25th anniversary with a Gloucester gig at Plock Court. Described as a ‘major act’, the band had to pull out at the last minute after double booking as a warm up for Damon Albarn in New York.
Sportbeat is in its second year and takes place on the weekend of June 7 and 8.
Other bands lined up include Razorlight, Reverend & the Makers, Hoosiers and The Ordinary Boys, alongside a sports programme, vintage fayre and street art exhibition.
The Citizen approached Modern West but received no reply before we went to press.
Jody Gooding, SportBeat organiser, released the following statement on Thursday afternoon:
We are very excited to have Grammy award winners Soul ll Soul as our headliners for Saturday night and we are sure they will entertain our crowd. They have had a very illustrious career with two number one albums. They will perform as the full band with Jazzy B and Caron Wheeler. More acts to be announced soon that will complement the Saturday headliner.
We, the organisers at SportBeat, just wanted to clarify some elements of the story in The Citizen today with regards to Kevin Costner and his band Modern West.
In the process of selecting dozens of bands for each festival, we have considered hundreds of fantastic acts – Modern West, included, many of which have been award-winning and chart-topping performers.
Our headliners Razorlight and Grammy award-winning Saturday headliners Soul II Soul are evidence of this.
We didn’t pursue Kevin Costner and Modern West after initial discussions as we had difficulty fitting them into the gaps in the line-up we still had available for that day. We were excited to find out they could potentially play at SportBeat as they are an extremely professional act with a huge name, so it is unfortunate that it didn’t work out.
We have worked with talented agents around the world to find acts that fit with our line-up and ethos of giving Gloucestershire the summer festival it deserves. As with every festival around the world, we have chosen to proceed with a very small percentage of the acts we’ve considered, for a variety of reasons.
When planning our line-up, we speak with a wide range of trusted friends and consultants. Chris Chatterton, the Mayor of Gloucester, is one of these trusted friends. He has a varied and informed knowledge of music, as do many of the people we consult.
Although his opinion is valued, the final decision with relation to the festival line-up is with us, the SportBeat organisers.