Shambhala Music Festival has been postponed to 2021. File photo

Shambhala Music Festival has been postponed to 2021. File photo

Virtual Shambhala Music Festival postponed due to allegations of sexual violence

Postponement announced following sexual violence allegations made against performer Billy Kenny

Organizers of the Shambhala Music Festival (SMF) in Salmo have put the event on hold due to allegations of sexual assault.

A woman reported a sexual assault by UK performer Billy Kenny to SMF three years ago before going public on social media last week.

Three separate allegations involving Kenny soon followed and were shared on Twitter, condemning Shambhala for including Kenny in the line up despite the alleged assaults.

In response, on July 13, SMF removed Kenny from the July 23-25 online show, however, four days later, as outrage grew on social media, organizers announced they decided to postpone the festival to review their policy and offer an apology.

“In light of allegations against past and present artists on our performance roster, we recognize that forms of sexual assault exist in our society and we take accountability for the role festivals play in this,” read Shambhala’s Twitter release.

“The industry needs to change, we need to change.”

The festival, which has been running since 1998, has been a popular annual pilgrimage and unique cultural experience for electronic dance music (EDM) fans across the world. In recent years, more than 17,000 people descended on the 500-acre property along the Salmo River just east of the small West Kootenay Village for the four day festival.

Kenny initially replied with a post on Facebook, but after a litany of additional damaging accounts, the Leeds artist has shut down all his social media accounts.

Shambhala also said it would take a social media break as it updates its practices and focuses its commitment to prevent further sexual misconduct at its events.

“We would like to offer our sincerest apologies to all of those affected and thank those who displayed the courage to speak out.

“Our next step will be to work with our team to determine the best course of action. This is an opportunity for us to look forward and to improve the way we run our festival. We acknowledge that we can do better to ensure that our team, guests and artists align with our values and we commit to using the lessons learned to reduce the potential for future harm.”

In the release, SMF pledges to conduct extensive background checks for artists and commit to a zero-tolerance policy for assault of any kind; further improve staff training regarding sexual harassment and violence; educate guests, crew and artists so that they fully understand what it means to receive consent; and train staff to respond to allegations promptly and appropriately.

The incident is just one of several recent controversies involving commercial EDM DJs like Graves, Space Jesus, Datsik and Bassnectar.



sports@trailtimes.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

music festivals

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A laboratory technician holds a dose of a COVID-19 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate that’s ready for trial on monkeys at the National Primate Research Center of Thailand. (Mladen Antonov - AFP)
Interior Health reports 66 new COVID-19 infections

570 cases are active; 18 in hospital

Lisa Grey, who works from home, didn’t realize how poor her Internet service was until she moved here last year. (Submitted photo).
CRD launches regional broadband, cell survey

Internet gaps, service levels mapped across region

Ian Watson, left, and Gary Carlson, take a fast turn at the 99 Mile cross-country ski trails. The 100 Mile Nordics opened the season on Nov. 26. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press).
Busy opening weekend for 100 Mile Nordics

Membership up 30 percent over last year

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses walking sticks while walking up a hill, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health reports 83 more COVID-19 infections overnight

46 cases are now associated with a COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson (right) with his partner Shelley Wiese participated in an BC Liberals Caucus virtual oath ceremony Friday, Nov. 27. Doerkson was appointed opposition critic of rural development by interim leader Shirley Bond. (Photo submitted)
Cariboo Chilcotin MLA appointed rural development opposition critic

Newly-elected Lorne Doerkson said it will be an honour to work for all rural consituents

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

BIG SALMON ranch in Washington State. (Center for Whale Research handout)
Non-profit buys Chinook ranch in hopes of increasing feed for southern resident killer whales

The ranch, which borders both sides of Washington State’s Elwha River, is a hotspot for chinook salmon

Most Read