Out singer Trey Pearson, frontman for the Christian rock band Everyday Sunday, was removed from the lineup of Joshua Fest, an annual 3-day Christian music festival held over the Labor Day weekend.

Pearson, 35, came out gay in an emotional letter to fans in May.

(Related: Trey Pearson: My dad hugged me after I came out gay.)

In August, he cheered being booked on the festival: “Overwhelmed and honored! I will be the first openly gay artist to ever play a major Christian music festival!”

Joshua Fest owner Aaron Diello told Billboard that 11 of the 14 members of the production team threatened to walk out over Pearson's inclusion.

“This was just under two weeks out from the event,” Diello said. “All of our staff are volunteers, and none of us are paid. When it comes to production, we have a production manager who is given a shoestring budget. And the fact that this team works the event for cost really put us in a bind to find a knowledgeable team that was available, let alone affordable. The event is Labor Day weekend, so you can imagine how hard it would have been to find a team that was experienced and available.”

Diello begrudgingly dropped Pearson from the lineup: “I was hurt. I felt like I was powerless in the situation -- like I was just punched in the gut. I was forced to let down a friend, someone that I really wanted to just love and support, the way Jesus tells us to. I was being denied that opportunity, at my own festival. It was a horrible situation.”

Pearson was invited to perform a song with Five Iron Frenzy, one of the festival's headline bands.

“They were like, ‘Hey, what would you think about coming up and singing our last song with us' – Every New Day, which is one of their biggest songs,” Pearson told Billboard. “They were a band that I went to tons of their concerts in high school and looked up to, and so to have them ask me to do that was amazing. They checked with the owners first, and we all decided – it’s not me doing my own set, but it’s still a way that I can go up there and be a part of the festival. So it turned out to be a really beautiful thing. I think there were a couple of surprised looks that I was there by a couple of people who didn’t want me there, but everybody was friendly. Of course I wish I could have done my own set, but in some ways this almost felt more powerful, because it was this band that I looked up to growing up that a lot of the fans looked up to, and all these guys from the other bands, too, standing with me in love.”