Crystal Castles dropped from feminist gig amid Alice Glass opposition

Glass said ex-bandmate Ethan Kath was 'not appropriate' for Tumblr event

Crystal Castles have been dropped from a feminist showcase organised by Tumblr for this month’s South-by-South-West festival in Austin, Texas.

The band were due to headline Tumblr’s 79 Cents party at SXSW on March 16 alongside Jhené Aiko, Tacocat, Little Simz, Empress Of. The event, which celebrates female musicians and seeks to highlight feminist issues, takes its name from the reported gender wage difference in the US with women earning 79 cents to every dollar a man makes.

However, Alice Glass (who left the band in 2014) opposed the booking and issued a statement to The Verge, saying: “As someone who knew [Crystal Castles frontman] Ethan Kath on a personal and professional level, it is my opinion that he is not an appropriate artist to be performing at a feminism-centric event.”

Glass and Kath have engaged in a public dispute online since the former’s departure and the latter’s decision to continue the group without her, replacing her with new singer Edith Frances.

NMEDan Kendall/NME

Kath previously downplayed Glass’ creative involvement in Crystal Castles’ music, while Glass described her former bandmate as “manipulative”.

Crystal Castles’ booking was a controversial one upon its announcement with fans highlighting Glass’s previous comments about Kath.

Tumblr’s head of music Nate Auerbach initially defended the booking of Crystal Castles, saying that they “don’t get involved in the politics of the things”.

However, following increased criticism and Glass’ opposition, Tumblr later released the following statement: “We’ve removed Crystal Castles from the lineup of the 79 Cents party. We don’t know the facts around comments made about a member of the band, and we’re not going to engage in an investigation around it. We’re hosting this event to highlight gender disparity issues, something that Tumblr and our community cares deeply about, and we don’t want the band’s presence to distract from this important mission.”

NME has approached press representatives of Kath and Crystal Castles for a response to the news.

Meanwhile, Crystal Castles have announced that their new album will be released later this year. Hear Alice Glass’ recent single ‘Stillbirth’ here.