Local production company Diamond Mine Agency, decided to cancel a February show featuring U.S. band The Queers, after an online petition was started. However, as of Saturday, with some cooperation other supporters, the show is back on!
An Ottawa-based artist collective known as Babely Shades started a petition earlier this week on change.org to protest The Queers performing in the city. They stated that the band’s leading member, Joe Queer, holds anti-black and trans-misogynist views.
The issue caused quite the uproar in the Ottawa music community, with many people both condemning and supporting the agency’s decision to cancel the event.
Brandon Bird, owner of Diamond Mine Agency, says that they have received a significant number of emails and messages over a short period of time concerning the situation.
“It was becoming very hard for us to promote an event that people were constantly putting down. True or not about the statements made about The Queers we just would rather not be associated with anything negative,” says Bird. “We book hundreds of events and cancel next to absolutely none. We just were trying to look out for the best interest of the company.”
Despite the fact that the petition is what started this controversy, Bird made it very clear that they did not choose to cancel the event because they believe these allegations against The Queers are true.
Diamond Mine Agency is no longer affiliated with the production. Instead, a local group and The Queers took matters into their own hands.
Local Ottawa band, The Riptides, who are now booked to open for The Queers, are working together with staff at Maverick’s bar, where the original performance was scheduled for Feb. 21, to organize the new show.
Andy Vandal, lead singer of the Riptides, says that they plan to donate a portion of the ticket sales to the Ottawa Youth Services Bureau, who work with LGBTQ street youth and others in the community.
Tickets go on sale early next week at mavericksbar.com and at Vertigo Records.