Freo.Social apologises after punk band Body Horrors allege member was assaulted by Mojo’s employee at venue

The Fremantle venue said it "takes full responsibility for the events" and that the staff member in question has had their employment with Mojo's terminated

Fremantle venue Freo.Social has apologised to Perth band Body Horrors who alleged that their singer was physically assaulted and verbally abused by a staff member of its sister venue, Mojo’s, who has since been fired.

Earlier this week, the band alleged their singer, Eden, was in the green room with another member at Freo.Social following their set at the venue on Sunday (August 7) supporting Amyl and the Sniffers. It’s alleged a senior Mojo’s staff member – at the venue as a patron – who was “clearly intoxicated” began “yelling in [their] faces”.

“Realising there was no reasoning with someone in such a state, Eden and I tried to leave, twice,” read a statement on the band’s Instagram Story, as reported by The West Australian. “(She) then physically assaulted them by shoving them against the wall/door before opening the door to leave herself.”

Yesterday (August 9), Freo.Social shared a statement on its social media pages acknowledging that it was “investigating” an “incident” which occurred at the venue on Sunday night.

That investigation, according to the venue, would include “discussions with all parties involved, any witnesses and reviewing the venue’s CCTV footage”.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to creating a safe and supportive space for our patrons, staff and artists at Freo.Social and across all of our venues, including our sister venue Mojo’s. We operate under a clear Code of Conduct to which we expect all patrons, artists and staff to abide by and deviation from this code of conduct will be met with appropriate action.”

Addressing the allegations made about Mojo’s and its staff’s response to the alleged incident, Freo.Social’s statement said it was “inappropriate to engage in social media discourse” surrounding those allegations, directing those who wished to make a complaint to contact management.

WA Police has confirmed that a complaint has been made into the alleged incident, and that police will be making inquiries.

Today (August 11), Freo.Social shared a second statement where they took “full responsibility for the events of Sunday night” and outlined steps it had taken to address its impact. After speaking with witnesses and venue management and reviewing CCTV footage, Freo.Social says it determined the Mojo’s staffer’s conduct was “inappropriate” and that, as a result, their employment at Mojo’s had been terminated.

The venue’s statement added that it had since reached out and apologised to the band directly. It added that Freo.Social “fully acknowledge[s] that many people were let down by our actions on the night”, and that its August 9 statement about the incident “lacked empathy”.

The statements add that in light of the incident, Freo.Social will be updating its code of conduct and backstage protocols, providing further training for staff and security.

“We will also continue to engage with the relevant agencies and the music community with the intention of implementing further safety and inclusion practices as part of our commitment to continuous improvement,” it reads. “This incident has profoundly impacted many people, for which we sincerely apologise.”

Body Horrors acknowledged the venue’s statement in an Instagram story shortly afterwards, saying it was “nice to see [Freo.Social] taking accountability for this incident”, but adding it was a “shame this could only happen [because] of community outcry”. They added: “We need to believe victims without further traumatising them.”

NME has reached out to Body Horrors for further comment and clarification. After reaching out to Mojo’s and Freo.Social, a representative for Triple1three, which operates both venues, directed NME to Freo.Social’s most recent statement.

Body Horrors have also said they will not perform at the Fremantle live music series Hidden Treasures tonight as they were “exhausted” by the Freo.Social “ordeal”. The Fremantle artist Noah Dillon has also cancelled his concert at Freo.Social tomorrow (August 12), which would have been the first show of his tour behind his debut album ‘Kill the Dove’, due to the incident.

“The safety of our patrons will always be our number one priority in putting on our shows, this was meant to be an inclusive and accessible gig that catered to the whole community,” Dillon wrote in a statement. “We will always err on the side of caution and protection when it comes to putting on events and after days of conversation and deliberation we feel this is the safest decision for everyone involved.”

Dillon added: “While we feel steps have been taken in the right direction, the negative effect of Sunday’s actions have taken a [toll] on us, the wonderful support bands and the promotion of this gig.”

It is with heavy hearts that we have to cancel our show at freo social tomorrow night. This decision is in light of an…

Posted by Noah Dillon on Thursday, August 11, 2022