Ezra Furman has announced that he is cancelling a planned show at Sonia in Cambridge, Massachusetts, after learning of multiple accusations of sexual assault and harassment against the venue’s owner Joseph Sater.
The gig was due to take place on September 11, but has been moved to September 23 at new venue Great Scott.
In a post on Instagram, Furman said: “After first announcing the show, we learned that many locals have been boycotting the venue since the owner, Joseph Sater, was accused of sexual assault and harassment by multiple people.
“Though Sater no longer works at any of the venues he owns, he still owns them, and we cannot in good conscience do business there. We do not take this decision lightly. We spoke with multiple local artists and journalists about the issue to make our decision.”
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VENUE & DATE CHANGE IN BOSTON FOR FEMINIST REASONS: we will now be playing at Great Scott in Allston on 9/23/19. See you there. Search “Sonia Cambridge boycott” for informative articles on the issue from the Boston Globe, or look at our Facebook page for links. END RAPE CULTURE
The musician continued: “We vehemently oppose rape culture and we are feminists. We have some control over who we do business with. So we have had to withdraw from performing at Sonia in solidarity with the boycotters and those who have endured a toxic culture at these venues.
“Other performers choose to play at Sonia and that is all right; that is each performer’s choice to make based on many ethical and financial factors.”
Sonia, is part of the Middle East entertainment complex, which includes three concert spaces and two restaurants. Joseph Sater stepped down last summer amid a slew of allegations of sexual assault and harassment.
“Admittedly, it’s been challenging to find an appropriate way to respond to unsubstantiated third-party claims on social media,” the Middle East’s owners said in a statement to The Boston Globe in 2018. “We can say, unequivocally, that the allegations being spread online are absolutely not true and that just being publicly accused is absolutely devastating.”
According to The Globe, allegations began in autumn 2017, when a DJ posted claims on social media alleging that one of the owners of the club had assaulted several women. More allegations followed, as well as the ongoing boycott.
Furman’s upcoming gigs are in support of his new album ‘Twelve Nudes’, which is released on August 30.