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 tow truck works to pull a dump truck from a ditch at 176 Street and 40 Avenue, following a two-vehicle incident Tuesday (Jan. 19) afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
PHOTOS: Dump truck, car collide in South Surrey

Intersection – 176 Street and 40 Avenue – was site of 2019 fatal collision

Guildford Seniors Village, located in Surrey. (Image: Google Maps)
Fraser Health declares COVID-19 outbreaks over at 2 Surrey care homes

Outbreaks over at The Emerald at Elim Village, Guildford Seniors Village

The White Birch proposal for a six-storey rental-only building for 1485 Fir St. (Contributed rendering)
Majority voice support for 80-unit rental redevelopment in White Rock

Resident fearful of being priced out of the city, council told at public hearing

In 2017, a member of the Disneyana Fan Club curated a small Community Treasures exhibit at the Museum of Surrey about the early days of Disney and the cartoonist Walt Disney. The museum is now accepting applications for its 2022 Community Treasures exhibition. (Photo: Submitted)
Museum of Surrey wants to spotlight local organizations and clubs

Museum now accepting applications for its 2022 Community Treasures exhibit

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Flags line the National Mall towards the Capitol Building as events get underway for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Joe Biden arrives at U.S. Capitol for inauguration

About 25,000 National Guard members have been dispatched to Washington

A memorial for the fatal bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 near Tisdale, Tuesday, October 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
‘End of the road:’ Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash awaits deportation decision

Sidhu was sentenced almost two years ago to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving

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

Cumberland photographer Sara Kemper recently took the top spot in a Canadian Geographic photography contest. Photo by Sara Kemper
B.C. photographer takes top Canadian Geographic photo prize

Sara Kemper shows what home means to her in Comox Valley photo

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

Most Read