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Canadian band Hedley has had better days

The members of Canadian band Hedley have been accused of multiple instances of sexual harassment. Photo via Hedley Online. 

By Cali Doran [1]

BELLEVILLE – Amid allegations of sexual misconduct and assault by the British Columbia-based band Hedley, [2] some fans are standing behind them while others say they’ll boycott their music.

The two most recent allegations come from a woman from Ottawa who alleges that lead singer Jacob Hoggard sexually assaulted her, and a radio host in Calgary who says Hoggard made sexual comments to her and grabbed her buttocks.

In a long tweet last night, Hoggard said he will leave the band indefinitely after the Cageless [3] tour wraps up. He admitted he had treated women in a way that was “reckless and dismissive of their feelings” but said he had “never engaged in non-consensual sexual behaviour.”

Hedley performed at the K-Rock Centre in Kingston on Tuesday night and will be in Peterborough on Saturday.

Heather Kotelniski of Kingston bought tickets to attend Tuesday’s concert with her three friends, but after the allegations went public, asked for a refund. 

“I can’t in good faith support anyone, let alone a band in the public eye, who is being accused of such horrific allegations,” Kotelniski told QNet News. “I believe in innocent until proven guilty, and I hope Jacob and the band will come forward and prove themselves innocent, but I will stand in solidarity with the alleged victims right now.”

Loyalist student Sophie Kuhn used a tweet to expressed her anger with the band’s lack of remorse. “I always thought they were a cool band,” her tweet said. “Now I’m just grossed out and pissed, not just about what is being said about what they did, but the response they gave is just weak.”

But the accusations have not lessened the support of some fans. Morgan Newson of Belleville went to the concert in Kingston said she’d continue to listen to their music even if the allegations are confirmed.

“It’s hard to believe what people say, and until you get all the facts and stuff … I am completely 100 per cent still a Hedley fan,” Newson said in a phone interview.

Nicole Lovett of Kingston has been listening to Hedley’s music for eight years and has attended nine of their concerts. “They have brought so many good things to my life that it is hard to assume this happened from my positive experiences with all members of the band, past and present,” she said.

But if the accusations are accurate, she won’t continue her support, she said.

Hedley has recently dropped by their management and radio networks CBC Music, Virgin Radio, Corus Radio and Bell Media have said they will no longer play their music. A planned performance at the Juno Awards [4] March 24 was cancelled amid the recent allegations.

They are continuing their Cageless tour even though their opening acts have dropped out. Neon Dreams was first band to quit the tour after the initial sexual-misconduct allegations.

Shortly after, solo performer Shawn Hook also bowed out.

A planned concert at the Caesars Windsor this month has been cancelled by the casino.