TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -
The Beach Boys and Pat Benatar have canceled their scheduled appearances at a Busch Gardens event.
The artists were scheduled to perform at Bands, Brew & BBQ, which starts February 8th and runs each Saturday through March 9th. Busch Gardens Tampa posted a statement on their Facebook page that read in part: "It’s disappointing that a digital harassment campaign enacted by animal activists led to denying thousands of fans what would have been two exciting concerts, but we’re committed to bringing our guests a great festival.
Busch Gardens is operated by SeaWorld Entertainment, the same company that operates SeaWorld Orlando. Many artists have canceled performances at SeaWorld due to the backlash over the film "Blackfish". The controversial documentary focuses on Tilikum, the whale that killed trainer Dawn Brancheau during a performance in 2010.
The documentary argued killer whales become more aggressive to humans while in captivity.Related content: Did SeaWorld ignore killer whale's history?
SeaWorld has strongly defended the handling of captive killer whales at its facilities.
The controversy does not seem to be dampening attendance at SeaWorld. The park announced Monday that it saw record attendance in late 2013. Get weather on the go! Download WeatherMax today. It’s FREE. http://8.wfla.com/1etbepy