After an online uproar over the name of an upcoming Market Days weekend party, event organizers quickly acknowledged the mistake, apologized, and immediately announced it would be changing the name of the party on Friday night, Aug. 7.
Neverland Productions, which ran three well-attended events/parties over Pride weekend in Chicago, announced its Market Days party would be, Savagesand the initial ad to promote the event featured a man wearing face-paint and a Native American headdress.
Facebook responses immediately blasted the party's name.
"This is incredibly racist," Erin Rusmi of Chicago posted.
"'Savages'? What the hell? That is disgusting. Please get rid of that name and pick something more respectful of indigenous people," Tiefer Alt said.
"Are you kidding me? This is beyond racist. It is disgusting," Mischa Misschief of Albuquerque posted.
Anthony DiFiore of Neverland told Windy City Times that Neverland is "extremely disappointed" with the negative reaction to the party's name. "More importantly, we are deeply saddened our decision has offended so many people. Please know that was never our intent," he said.
"Our mistake was not recognizing the name could cause offense. For that, we apologize to you, our fans, and our sponsors. Today, our team will be reworking the name of the Neverland Market Days party. We appreciate your understanding and continued support."
Neverland produced a pool party and two late-night parties during Pride weekend, and each was well attended by the LGBT community, including one at Metro Chicagowhere the Market Days weekend event is scheduled to be.
"Neverland is about art, costumes, and high production," DiFiore said. "We've wanted to do a tribal theme for a long time, because the music at Neverland parties is tribal house ( house music with drums ), and our team has wanted to recreate beautiful tribal headdresses out of respect and celebration of past cultures.
"The Neverland team is composed of different races and cultures. The model in the event poster is one of the Neverland co-owners, Martin Luna, who is Mexican from Campechein the region where the Mayans once lived. Our goal at Neverland is simply to create a fun dance party with excellent music and production. We choose themes that challenge our team to create something visually magnificent. The name 'Savages' was selected to best define the kind of fierce production we intend on creating."
But now Neverland will re-name its Market Days event.