PWR BTTM’s Austin tour date cancelled amid sexual assault allegations

Less than a week after sexual assault allegations against member Ben Hopkins became public knowledge, queer-punk duo PWR BTTM has reportedly canceled their upcoming tour, including a June 6 date in Austin at Barracuda.

Ben Hopkins of PWR BTTM performs on stage at the NPR Music Showcase at South by Southwest on Wednesday March 15, 2017. Daulton Venglar/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

On Thursday, PWR BTTM posted a letter on Facebook addressing allegations of sexual assault against Hopkins, which had begun to circulate widely on social media.

On Friday, Jezebel published an interview with an anonymous woman who said she was assaulted multiple times by Hopkins.

“We heard about it and were concerned but couldn’t cancel based on a single Facebook post, so emailed the agent to please keep us posted,” said Austin concert promoter Graham Williams of Margin Walker. “Then over the weekend, manager and label bailed, which had us very concerned, since we take allegations like this very seriously. And by today, the tour was cancelled.”

As of 4 p.m. Monday, PWR BTTM had not officially announced the cancellation of the tour.

Backlash against the band, which dropped sophomore LP “Pageant” on Friday, has been fast and furious, with much criticism focusing on their previous outspoken support of “safe spaces” at their live shows. Within only a couple of days of the allegations surfacing, PWR BTTM canceled their album release show, and their management company, Salty Artist Management, announced Friday that it would no longer be working with the band.

PWR BTTM’s label, Polyvinyl, also dropped the duo over the weekend and announced they would no longer sell their music, offering refunds to those who had pre-ordered “Pageant.”

Members of their touring band released statements announcing their departure from the band in light of the allegations, and PWR BTTM’s opening acts also dropped out of the tour.

The New York band, comprised of Hopkins and co-lead Liv Bruce, last played Austin in March for a marathon of colorful, well-received South by Southwest showcases.

Deborah Sengupta Stith contributed to this report.


View Comments 0

%d bloggers like this: