Diversity concerns prompt apology from Oxford concert series organizers

OXFORD, OH (FOX19) - After getting complaints an Oxford music event lacks diversity, organizers are publicly apologizing.

The Uptown Summer Concert Series is a popular event in Oxford that takes place on Thursday nights. Musicians play live at the Uptown Park, weather permitting.

The Butler Philharmonic showcased skills inside a church that served as a rain location Thursday. The performance came only hours after the organization that hosts the series, "Enjoy Oxford," was bombarded with one-star reviews on Facebook.
"It was kind of like where is this coming from?" said Jennifer Greene, the Executive Director of Enjoy Oxford.

The commenters made it clear they are not happy with Enjoy Oxford's 2018 summer concert series schedule, writing things like: "The lack of diversity is disturbing and uninviting."

Each of them indicated that they were fired up when they saw this summer's lineup, claiming the limited number of ethnicities involved sends a message not all are welcome in the community. The backlash was enough to prompt organizers to take a closer look.

"We do a lot of programs with different groups, like an international back to school welcome for international students, but that's beside the point. This time, with this program, we missed the mark," Greene said.

A few hours later, the leaders of Enjoy Oxford took to social media to say sorry.

The organizers promised to work harder now to do better in the future, especially when they once again start the months-long concert selection process.

"We'll learn from this," Greene said.

FOX19 NOW reached out to many of the people who made the negative reviews on Facebook regarding a lack of diversity. No one was willing to speak on camera regarding the issue, but comments indicate some people are pleased with how the organization handled the situation and hope organizers will follow through.

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