Ani Difranco apologises for organising writers’ retreat at former slave plantation

Folk singer cancels four-day workshop in Louisiana

Ani Difranco has issued an apology after organising a writers’ retreat at a former Louisiana slave plantation.

The folk singer and feminist artist faced accusations of racism and ignorance from online commenters after charging $1000 (around £608) for tickets to the four-day songwriters’ getaway at Nottoway Plantation and Resort.

More than 2600 people signed a petition on campaigning against the event.

Difranco originally reacted to the complaints by posting a statement on her website, saying she “did not imagine or understand that the setting of a plantation would trigger such collective outrage or result in so much high velocity bitterness.”

The singer has now cancelled the event and has posted a longer apology on her site. “It has taken me a few days but I have been thinking and feeling very intensely and I would like to say I am sincerely sorry,” she wrote. “It is obvious to me now that you were right – all those who said we can’t in good conscience go to that place and support it or look past for one moment what it deeply represents. I needed a wake up call and you gave it to me.”

Multi award-winning Difranco’s most recent album ‘¿Which Side Are You On?’ was released in 2012.