The opening act for Monday night’s Hedley concert in Quebec City was cancelled following a rape allegation against lead singer Jacob Hoggard.
The event’s venue, Centre Vidéotron, issued a statement on its Facebook page saying there would be no opening act for the show. The Toronto band Liteyears was scheduled to open the concert.
On Sunday night, CBC published the story of a 24-year-old Ottawa woman who alleged Hoggard sexually assaulted her in 2016.
A statement from Hoggard’s lawyer says the singer is very sorry the woman is upset, “but that does not change the fact that they made a mutual plan to get together to have sex and they did just that.”
Fans stand by band
Fans lined up outside the Centre Vidéotron said the music and the band members’ personal lives are separate.
“The power of their songs, it’s very important for me because they helped me go through some rough times in high school. So just listening to this song, I felt better,” said fan Megan Chouinard.
Elise Marcoux is attending the concert with her two teenage daughters and said the family has been discussing the allegations a lot at home.
“It’s a trial by Twitter. Facebook, Twitter, only. Nothing proven. Most of it anonymously,” Marcoux said.
“We’re here to show support. If it’s true, some lives were ruined. But at this time, it’s these guy’s [lives] that are ruined.”
Some fans brought signs which read “I stand with Hedley” written onto a heart, or which showed the hashtag #IstandwithHeadley.
Social media allegations
Allegations of sexual assault first surfaced against Hoggard on social media earlier in February.
The allegations caused the Canadian band to withdraw from Juno consideration and they were dropped by their management.
It also saw them lose their original opening acts, Shawn Hook and Neon Dreams.
Adrian Morris, the drummer of Neon Dreams, told CBC that the band did two more shows with Hedley after allegations against Hoggard surfaced.
“It didn’t sit right with us, we felt wrong about it,” Morris said.
“One thing I really take away from this is we had a lot of backlash from Hedley fans because of the fact that we pulled out, and it’s given me a lot of insight into the courage that it takes to come out as a victim,” he added.
Hedley was also blacklisted by numerous radio stations, including CBC, following the allegations on social media.
The band plans to continue its tour, however, with shows scheduled until March 23.