Photo courtesy of Primary Talent International
On Tuesday, the Hopscotch Music Festival announced the lineup
for its eighth annual festival in Raleigh to deserved fanfare. Headliners include Solange, Future Islands, Angel Olsen, and Big Boi atop a respectable slate of locals and touring acts.
But this afternoon, the festival announced that it had removed PWR BTTM, a quickly ascending queer rock outfit that's enjoyed waves of positive press recently, from its lineup.
The action comes a day after sexual assault accusations against Ben Hopkins
, who is half of the band, were made public on social media. Since then, two touring members of PWR BTTM have left the band, and the group has canceled its album-release show, which had been scheduled for last night. One person has come forward with severe allegations, speaking to Jezebel anonymously
about her experiences with Hopkins, and the story is continuing to develop.
The band's response, which includes setting up mediation via a special email address, is also quoted in the Jezebel
In the meantime, Hopscotch has taken swift action in removing PWR BTTM from its lineup, citing goals of inclusivity and maintaining safe spaces for its fans. The band is also scheduled for a June 15 stop at The Pinhook
, which has already sold out, but there's no word yet on whether that show is still on. We've reached out to the venue and will update with the response.
Update, Sunday, May 14, 2:05 p.m.
: According to its website, The Pinhook has canceled
PWR BTTM's June 15 show.
The festival's full statement
Each year, as we book and program artists, we do so with the intent of making Hopscotch Music Festival an inclusive, positive, and safe space for all members of our community. This week’s allegations against Ben Hopkins of PWR BTTM are ones that we do not take lightly. It is absolutely necessary to believe and support survivors of abuse, and to take steps toward holding abusers accountable. For these reasons, we have removed the band from our 2017 lineup.
We will be in contact with local LGBTQ+ and social justice organizations to address how to best raise awareness and funds for marginalized communities here in North Carolina. It is the primary goal of the festival organizers to ensure that everyone feels safe and free to be themselves.
Thank you for your continued support. Take care of each other.