The festival said it was looking forward to “performing a true rock legend.” (AP Photo / John Marshall Mantel)

Associated Press

The historic music festival in North Carolina is adamant on its decision to hire a registered sex offender to play, even after pressure from the community to ban the performer.

Artimus Pyle will take the stage at the Historic Morganton Festival in September. He is a former drummer of Lynrd Skynrd and heads his current band named after him.

He is also a registered sex offender in North Carolina, according to the state’s sex offender database.

Pyle’s sex offender status has caused concern and open rejection from some community members who launched a petition to Morganton City Council against his invitation to the festival. As of May 25, it was signed by more than 400 people.

“The Morganton Historical Festival has decided that he is the perfect performer to headline the 30th annual family festival this fall in Morganton, North Carolina,” the petition said. “Please help us spread the word that this is not welcome in our community!”

Pyle was convicted of sexual crimes in 1993, according to government documents. McClatchy News has approached the Artimus Pyle Band for comment and is awaiting a response.

He pleaded guilty to attempted death penalty and lewd and infamous attack in the presence of a child, says the news release of the Historical Festival in Morgan. After his conviction, Pyle served 8 years probation and without imprisonment.

“The fact that you put a sex offender well in front of your own city to represent you speaks volumes,” wrote one of the festival’s commentators on Facebook. “I’m ashamed of it and I, no one from my family from now on will be involved in anything in you. Be a defender of children. ”

According to the festival, Pyle has never had any ridiculous incidents during recent concerts or fan events, and the performer has been completely transparent with his past.

Pyle was arrested in 2007 after failing to register as a sex offender in North Carolina when he moved to Ashevillereports WWAY.

“Board of Historic Morganton Festival, Inc. and the executive director are satisfied with the decision to hire the band and look forward to a real rock legend performing at the festival, ”the release concludes.

Pile is scheduled to play on September 10according to the festival.

Morgan is about 76 miles northwest of Charlotte.

Alison Cutler is a national real-time reporter for the southeastern McClachie region. She graduated from Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Arizona, and previously worked at The News Leader in Staunton, Virginia, a branch of USAToday.

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