December 11, 2018

BY PETER SWART

Sexual assault allegations have been spreading like wildfire the past six months. And it’s about time. Women have stayed silent for too long. They are taking aim at men in the business world, Hollywood and now the music industry.

Recent allegations have even been made against artists who are on tour. In some instances, the tours continued as planned while in others the tour was cancelled. It’s time to put a definite plan into action to prepare for situations like these as more and more victims come forward.

The fans who follow the artists almost religiously and put money and time into planning just to see them perform are upset when their favourite is accused. The people they thought could do no wrong are now the people that they fear the most and they quickly lose all respect for them.
The victims were likely fans before they became victims, so the fans who were not directly affected should band together to help the community that they have become apart of, and promoters should be helping too.

The perfect plan would be for promoters and venues to immediately drop the accused artists from any event that they are scheduled to perform at. If this means cancelling events and refunding tickets then so be it. This will separate them from the person and the situation, thus removing the possibility of being associated with sexual assault. It will also give them an opportunity to make a difference.

A recent example of a perfectly handled situation is the Elevation Montreal festival, which was held on March 17. A headliner by the name of Datsik was accused of sexual assault by several women and as a result all three other acts that were also performing dropped out. Datsik was set to perform with these acts at 13 other venues, but the tour was cancelled.
After cancelling its festival Elevation Montreal created a new event for the same day. It was headlined by a few names that were almost as big as those in the original show and it was for a good cause. They made the best of the situation by making a difference. They announced that $1 from each ticket sold for this new concert would be donated to Le Chainon, an organization dedicated to helping women in distress regain their personal and social independence.

Elevation is leading by example. Each venue and promoter should follow this example if faced with a similar situation in the future. Turning a blind eye is just not acceptable anymore.

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