EDITORIAL: ALLEGATIONS AROUND SSD CONCERTS | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Over the last few days several high profile artists from our region and beyond have severed ties with regional promoters SSD Concerts, amid allegations of entrenched misogyny, poor management and unfair working conditions for both their staff and artists. 

Bands including Idles, Lanterns on the Lake, Kelly Lee Owens, Little Comets, Martha Hill, Kate Nash and many others have been vocal on social media about the allegations surrounding the promoter, with both Idles and Lanterns on the Lake keen to make fans aware their shows will no longer be promoted by SSD, and many other performers pulling out of October’s Hit The North festival. Newcastle’s Boiler Shop have also distanced themselves from the promoter, and a large swathe of North East artists have spoken out on social media about their disdain for the company and its practices. 

If you’d like to educate yourself further on the situation, @TitsUponTyne on Instagram have been collating information and have been instrumental in bringing to light some of the shocking allegations.

We’ve watched with concern as developments have continued, and earlier in the week made an editorial decision not to cover any more SSD events. With national media outlets reporting on the situation (check out this great summing up from Clash), we feel we can no longer stay quiet on the matter.

We’re not investigative journalists, and we’re not experts in media law, so we won’t comment on allegations made on company review site Glassdoor. But we wholeheartedly stand in solidarity with anyone who has been affected by sexual misconduct and bullying and it saddens us greatly that it has taken allegations of such behaviour to finally bring to the surface what appears to be widespread bad practice.

Our music scene is preparing to reopen in the next month, and – if the ongoing situation has anything to teach us – it’s that we as artists, audiences and basically good humans will not tolerate this behaviour in our region. We know the North East music scene is largely a supportive, open-minded and diverse community, made up of people who work hard to give fair opportunities to musicians and memorable events to audiences. Every musician, audience member and employee deserves to be able to perform, attend and work a show without fearing for their safety. Anything less than this should not be tolerated and as a community it is absolutely the right time for us to stand up and say: no more. 

SSD Concerts run a number of festivals in the region including Hit The North, This is Tomorrow and the Virgin Money Unity Arena socially-distanced gigs, and promote shows at a number of venues region-wide. SSD Concerts deny all allegations. 

For anyone that has been affected by the subject matter raised in this article, we’d direct your attention to this thread on Twitter from music development agency Generator, who list some recommended websites for help and guidance. 

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