Billie Eilish is back on Australian soil this month for the Groovin The Moo festival and a run of extremely-sold-out shows, and after the Sydney leg of her tour last night, she took to Instagram to ask fans to be mindful of her personal space after a fan allegedly groped her during the meet and greet session.
It’s disappointing to know that arguably one of the biggest solo artists in the world in 2019 has to ask her fans to stop inappropriately touching her, and even more so to know that this has happened in Australia – a place where I’d like to think we’re trying so very hard to get into good habits of consent and generally just keeping our hands to ourselves.
Billie hasn’t gone into much detail of the incident on her Instagram story today but from what can be gathered, a fan at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion last night apparently touched her breasts in a way that made her feel uncomfortable, and to the point where she needed to say something after the fact.
PEDESTRIAN.TV has reached out to Billie Eilish, but she has declined to comment at this time.
The 17-year-old alt-pop star gave the benefit of the doubt to the fan, admitting that it may have just been an accident and she didn’t want to ruin the fan’s experience of meeting her by bringing it up in the moment, but it’s sparked her need to speak more broadly about the issue, and that people should keep their hands to themselves in general.
She also shared a message from someone who confirmed that the fan’s behaviour was wrong and empathised with Billie about not wanting to spoil a fan’s night by immediately calling out their poor behaviour but it’s also important to remember that Billie is there DOING HER JOB and nobody should be made to feel uncomfortable in that instance – or any instance, really.
Nobody, no matter how famous and successful they are, should be subjected to having their personal space violated.
PEDESTRIAN.TV sat down with Billie’s brother, Finneas O’Connell, who said that it “really sucks” for his sister, that it “double sucks” if it was an unintentional moment by the fan, and that he hopes nobody does it again.
Finneas went on to talk about how fans interactions with musicians and famous folk have a tendency to be more about the story they can tell afterwards, rather than the fact that they’re a human being with emotions and feelings.
I think one of the problems with anyone who you deem famous in a certain way is that you look at them like a story you can tell in your life. I remember hearing at Justin Bieber meet and greets, girls would like stick their hands in his pants and stuff.
I think it comes from this sort of like fraternity place of like, “Oh my God, I’m going to have this outrageous story!” and “They’re so famous and powerful that nothing can phase them and affect them.” But the real truth is that it’s your body. And if someone violates your body, that’s pretty horrible.
And what have we learned here today, friends? Ask for consent before you touch someone you don’t know (and even someone you do know) and for Christ’s sake, keep your hands to yourself.
Billie Eilish continues her sold-out headline tour of Australia and appearances at Groovin The Moo festival this week with a show at Melbourne‘s Margaret Court Arena on Friday May 3 and out in Bendigo, VIC on Saturday May 4 before heading off to Brisbane and finishing up in Perth.Image: Getty Images / Frazer Harrison