Ottawa

Vote with your dollars, Ottawa musicians tell Hedley fans

Canadian pop-rockers Hedley are still slated to perform at TD Place in Ottawa Tuesday night despite sexual misconduct allegations that have been swirling around the band since last week.

Canadian rockers to play Ottawa Tuesday amid sexual misconduct allegations

Hedley's Cageless tour will stop by Ottawa's TD Place Tuesday, but without original opening acts Neon Dream and Shawn Hook. (Haydn Watters/CBC)

Canadian pop-rockers Hedley are still slated to perform at TD Place in Ottawa Tuesday night despite sexual misconduct allegations that have been swirling around the band since last week. 

While some fans have cancelled their plans to see the band, others will turn out to see the show — and that's OK, according to local musician Lesley Marshall.

As a musician I find it insulting.- Tiffanie Tri

"Enjoy yourself if you're there to enjoy yourself, but be conscious of whom you're giving your money to," Marshall told CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning. "I think that people need to decide where that line is for them, and I do think that Hedley is being made an example of and … rightly so."

Marshall is a member of local bands Bonnie Doon and GINNY, and writer of the Do-It-Yourself Audio Tech Workshop for Women, an initiative funded by the City of Ottawa and run by the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition.

Marshall said she was not surprised to hear Tuesday's show is going ahead, but is still disappointed. She said Hedley fans can still send a message about misogyny in the music industry by refusing to buy the band's music or attend concerts.

Ottawa musicians Lesley Marshall, left, and Tiffanie Tri say fans should "vote with their dollars" in response to the sexual misconduct allegations against Hedley. (Joe Lofaro/CBC)

Anonymous Twitter users accused the band of sexual misconduct involving young fans, prompting radio stations across Canada, including CBC, to pull their music. 

Hedley was up for three Junos this year including fan choice, group of the year and pop album of the year, but has withdrawn from consideration for the prizes, and will no longer perform at the televised event. 

According to a statement released by the band on Facebook, "there was a time, in the past, when we engaged in a lifestyle that incorporated certain rock and roll clichés. However, there was always a line that we would never cross."

Tiffanie Tri, chair of women's rock camp Girls + Rock Ottawa, balked at the band's statement. 

"I can't believe they put that in their press release," she told Ottawa Morning. "I think that is a complete insult and disservice to all musicians who take their craft professionally. As a musician I find it insulting."

'Say something'

Marshall said fans should decide for themselves about how to react to the allegations. 

"If you have the privilege, stand up and say something.... If you can't, don't be hard on yourself and live your best life," she said. 

Tri agreed fans should make their own decision about whether or not to support an artist accused of sexual misconduct, and shouldn't feel guilty about their choice. 

"I probably won't listen to Chris Brown ... but if it comes up on the radio I might not always turn it off. And that doesn't make me a bad feminist or a bad person, either," she said. 

"When we ask that question it turns the morality back on us as listeners and misdirects the conversation from the issue at hand, which is maybe misogynistic lyrics or inappropriate behaviour. Rather than focusing on that it's as a listener what have you done?"

With files from CBC Radio

now