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Smash Mouth Lead Singer Apologizes for Foul Language During PrairieFest Performance

Jun 24, 2016 11:37AM ● Published by Steven Jack

Crowds at Saturday night's headlining show from SmashMouth were estimated at over 20,000.


By all accounts, the language used by Smash Mouth lead singer Steve Harwell during the band's headlining performance at PrairieFest last weekend was not exactly "family friendly."

The estimated crowd of 20,000 people who saw the show were treated to more than a few swear words, and references to drug use. The performance led to an outcry from many people who attended the show that brought their children to hear the band perform their hits, including "All Star" from the soundtrack to the animated movie "Shrek."

The performance led the Oswegoland Park District to contact the band's management to demand an apology from Harwell. Harwell responded this week with a letter to festival organizer Kristie Vest. It is unedited as follows:

I wanted to reach out to you, the fantastic staff for the Oswego Praire Fest and the great people of Oswego and pass along my sincerest apologies for my poor choice of language from the stage at last weeks show.

I know that it is of little consolation now after the damage has bene done but I do take my job very seriously and wanted to at least acknowledge the inappropriate language used by me in front of the family crowd we had out that night. In all honestly most all of our shows (especially during the summer) are family shows and we treat them as such. I was having a bad day and brought my frustrations to the stage and am remorseful for that. No excuses, just a sincere apology. 

We hope to have the honor to perform in your town again in the future so we can give the wonderful people of Oswego the clean family show that they deserve. 

In any case, this has been on my mind since the show and I wanted to extend my apologies to all that I offended that evening. 

Warm regards, 
Steve Harwell

When asked for a comment on Harwell's apology, Vest pointed to the statement released by the Park District on the PrairieFest Facebook page. 

"While this letter from Steve Harwell, lead singer of Smashmouth doesn't excuse language from Saturday's main stage, the Oswegoland Park District will remember PrairieFest 2016 for the American HeartSaver Hero Awards, the entertaining lumberjacks, the dogs who found families at PrairiePaws, the big proposal, and the four days of beautiful weather."


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