Post Malone, the “Number 1 Debut R&B/Hip-Hop Artist of 2016,” is scheduled to perform at Cheyenne Frontier Days on July 25 alongside other big names like Lady Antebellum (July 19), Rascal Flatts (July 20), Josh Turner (July 21), Miranda Lambert (July 24), Keith Urban (July 26) and Tim McGraw (July 27).
His upcoming performance has ruffled some feathers as criticism has been circulating due to his genre of music, one that cannot be pinned down to any specific type, but one in which he blends a mix of genres into his own sonic sound.
Those who criticize his arrival to CFD are stagnant in their views that the music should only be country in order to retain the emphasis on the celebration of western culture.
According to Mike Martin, the Public Relations chair of CFD, the CFD committee feels it’s important to offer a different genre of music out of the six class A country performances and two nights of rodeo to diversify the audiences. Martin also mentioned that it’s been a long-standing tradition to branch out to have one non-country artist perform every year.
One of these non-traditional performers was Jason Derulo featuring Flo Rida, who performed at CFD in 2017, and Martin said that his performance was a huge success, and that the performance was unique and the energy from the crowd was enormous — bigger than they’ve seen since legendary country performer Garth Brooks.
Martin mentioned that they’re very hopeful for the Post Malone performance. Ticket sales for the performance broke the record for most tickets sold in one day for CFD, and less than a week after tickets went on sale, the performance was sold out.
Martin also mentioned that Post Malone has turned down other offers to bigger and more popular venues because his performances in the states are extremely limited, he’s just doing around 20 acts in the US before returning to perform overseas, so Cheyenne, a location that’s hardly a mecca for musical performances, is extremely fortunate to be one of those he’s chosen to come to.
While Post Malone isn’t in any sense a traditional country music performer, he has hardly shied away from country music and even collaborated with Keith Urban on the Elvis All-Star Tribute special.
There’s a strong argument for the push for the perseverance of western culture at CFD, but it’s needless to have it come at the expense of pushing any diversity out of the state. Acts like Post Malone are responsible for bringing in diverse populations from the surrounding states to come and partake in the western experience that CFD otherwise gives. It would be a grave misstep to withgo the tradition of CFD and only allow country music to be performed.
Western culture, also known as “cowboy” culture, is deeply rooted into the very heart of Wyoming, and it has long been reflected in country music. This small gesture of goodwill to those who aren’t involved or interested in country music is necessary in helping Wyoming grow in terms of population and in making Wyoming grow in terms of cultural acceptance.