Officials behind the UNIFY Gathering have sensationally removed I Killed The Prom Queen from its 2018 lineup just one day after announcing them, after widespread condemnation of the festival over singer Michael Crafter‘s inclusion on the bill.
Festival management announced a short time ago they, in consultation with the band, had reached the decision to remove IKTPQ from the bill, citing Crafter’s past comments which organisers asserted “fall well short of today’s community standards and were considered deeply offensive to many people within our music community.”
Today UNIFY Gathering has made the decision, with the backing of band members, to remove I Killed The Prom Queen from…
Today UNIFY Gathering has made the decision, with the backing of band members, to remove I Killed The Prom Queen from the lineup for Unify Gathering 2019.
We made this decision because historical comments made on social media by former member Michael Crafter, who was to re-appear as guest singer of I Killed The Prom Queen for their one-off 2004 nostalgia set. These comments fall well short of today’s community standards and were considered deeply offensive to many people within our music community.
These comments are completely unacceptable and contrary to our deeply held values and beliefs that music is for everyone and to be enjoyed by all.
We want to create a culture of positive change within the music industry and it’s our responsibility to call out unacceptable behaviour wherever we see it.
UNIFY is committed to ensuring a safe place for anyone and everyone who wants to enjoy music. This is why we jointly launched the ‘Your Choice’ initiative, aimed at addressing cultural issues and harmful behaviour within the music festival landscape.
On reflection, we acknowledge that Michael Crafter shouldn’t have been chosen to appear at Unify Gathering 2019. We’d like to acknowledge that the members of the band have been really open and helpful in this conversation, and we wish them the best moving forward.
The comments in question refer specifically to views Crafter espoused on social media a mere two years ago, when Unify itself was suffering blowback for a lineup that featured a staggeringly small amount of women on the bill.
At the time, Crafter said – and we quote – “end of the day a festival is about getting cunt [sic] to shows. Not giving someone a go cause its feel sorry for women in bands week. I’m sure there’s enough girls get [sic] finger banged in the tents to be happy enough about the festival.”
He also suggested that if “women want to be equal” they should “get fucking better at being in a band.”
Those comments represent the tip of the iceberg in terms of Crafter’s past behaviour and publicly espoused views on women, a lot of which is lost to the annals of time thanks to the demise of the Broken Glass Online forum which he ran; a forum that routinely bragged about accumulating, saving, and non-consensually shaing nude photos of women – often young – throughout much of the mid-late 2000s.
— Rory Banwell (@rorybanwell) August 9, 2018
Crafter attempted a hasty apology for his past actions yesterday, stating he was a much different person to the one he was just two years ago. However today’s decision reflects the right decision being made by UNIFY operators given the current evolving climate whose patience for harbouring assholes is quickly wearing thin.
It should be said that, while today’s decision by Unify is the right one and worthy of applause, it boggles the mind why the band was booked in the first place if this was a foreseeable issue. And, with that said, it’s also worth noting Crafter was welcomed onto the Unify Gathering stage in 2015 with his other band, Confession.
Still, a good decision ultimately.
The festival – which out of the now-total 28 acts features just 7 with at least one woman – is scheduled to take place across January 11 and 12, with a lineup featuring the likes of Taking Back Sunday, Karnivool, Clowns, Pagan, and In Hearts Wake.Image: Facebook