A planned tour by Nahko And Medicine For The People has been canceled as the embattled frontman continues to suffer the fallout from a flurry of sexual misconduct allegations made against him last year. Since announcing the tour on Monday, venues around the country have chosen to cancel the group’s concerts in response to grassroots action on social media.
Though Nahko Bear’s website still lists a baker’s dozen of tour dates from September through November, a trip to the respective links results in 404 errors and notices of concert cancellations. The Burlington Free Press reported on Thursday that Higher Ground had canceled the show in response to accusations, with most venues on the proposed tour following suit by the end of the business week.
This planned tour would have marked the musician’s first public outing since he was made the target of an internet campaign last summer to encourage young women to tell their stories of abuse. Kickstarted by a Change.org petition which has garnered nearly 5,500 signatures, scores of women accused the artist of “underage fondling, sexual grooming, and sexual abuse/intimidation.” The aim of the petition was to bring enough attention to the artist’s alleged misconduct to convince venues to stop booking Nahko.
Following the initial wave of attention, Nahko issued a response to his alleged victims. Posted to the Nahko And Medicine For The People Facebook page on August 10th, 2020, the singer apologized to women whom he had hurt with his unethical behavior, while simultaneously denying claims of rape and pedophilia.
“I want to be very clear that this is what I’m apologizing for: in my past, I have been disrespectful towards women in my life,” Nahko said in the video. “I have been a liar, I have been a cheat, I have objectified them, I have betrayed them, and I have centered my own agendas above theirs.”
With the shutdown of live music in 2020, Nahko And Medicine For The People flew under the radar with no studio releases or attempts at socially distanced concerts. That came to an end earlier this week when the band announced a run of fall tour dates, a move that was immediately hit with online criticism. Rather than continuing to go after the artist, however, many aimed their frustration and disappointment at the venues that booked him. Posts by venues across the country ranging from Denver’s Mission Ballroom to Asheville’s Rabbit Rabbit were littered with comments from fans who expected their beloved music venues to provide a safe space for concerts, rather than giving its stage to an alleged serial abuser.
Throughout the week, many promoters and venues opted to cancel the shows, making subsequent posts explaining the decision. While many took solace in this self-correction of the music industry, many of these updated concert cancellations were also met with fierce objection by Nahko’s still fervent supporters. These efforts were encouraged by an official Facebook account for the artist with a post made in a Nahko fan group ahead of the tour announcement.
Nahko And Medicine Of The People have yet to make a statement regarding the tour as of this publication. A post attributed to the frontman in the private Nahko Facebook fan page confirmed that the tour has been suspended.
[H/T Burlington Free Press]