Content warning: this story contains discussion and descriptions of sexual assault and harassment.
Bridget Hustwaite – best known as the host of triple j’s Good Nights programme – has spoken out about a groper at Adam Newling’s Melbourne show last Saturday (November 20), saying she and another woman were sexually assaulted.
“Nothing says welcome back to live music than getting a dude kicked out for touching your ass and another chicks boob,” she tweeted on the night of the event. Newling performed two shows at The Worker’s Club last weekend, both alongside local artist Georgia Knight. As per Newling himself, the incident occurred during the first of those.
Hustwaite later tweeted her thanks to the venue’s door and bar staff “for acting so quickly”, then went on to decry “the pathetic response we sometimes get regarding our clothes, being told ‘well you shouldn’t wear such a short skirt’ etc.” because “it literally doesn’t matter”.
“I had black pants, a green jumper & a brown coat,” she continued. “I looked like a nanna and was still groped.”
I also want to make a point out of the pathetic response we sometimes get regarding our clothes, being told “well you shouldn’t wear such a short skirt” etc.
It literally doesn’t matter. I had black pants, a green jumper & a brown coat. I looked like a nanna and was still groped.
— Bridget Hustwaite (@BHustwaite) November 20, 2021
The author and presenter also shared an article that she’d written for triple j in April of 2019, detailing various accounts of sexual assault by artists and punters (including herself) in Australia’s live music scene.
“It took me a long time to speak up about [my experiences with sexual assault] because I felt like it was my fault,” she wrote in the article. “Now I know that it wasn’t, and just like these brave musicians, I know that I deserve to feel safe and respected.”
In another section, Hustwaite wrote: “How do we stamp this behaviour out and make gigs a safe space for all? Well, I don’t know if there is a single answer but I do think it starts from the bottom. It starts with your mates, and calling them out if you see them acting in a way that’s making someone else feel uncomfortable.”
Newling posted a statement of his own after last weekend’s incident, saying he was able to identify the alleged assailant and had banned him from the singer-songwriter’s future shows.
“Our shows are supposed to be a safe place filled with love and [camaraderie] among like-minded people who share a love for music,” he wrote, “not an excuse for indecent behaviour. I wish I had known sooner of the events that had taken place and if I was perhaps more vigilant I could have done more to prevent and protect I will do everything in my power to never let this happen again.”
Take a look at Newling’s full statement below: