Sam Fender will “no longer be working with SSD” following employee mistreatment allegations

"There is absolutely no place for harassment"

Sam Fender has announced that SSD Concerts will no longer be promoting any of his upcoming shows following allegations of employee mistreatment.

The claims, which were posted on workplace review website Glassdoor, were shared with screenshots on the company’s Instagram account, when it was reportedly hacked. The accusations include “underpaying” workers, “offensive” language and people being made to feel “uncomfortable” at work.

The company, which was responsible for bringing the world’s first socially distanced gigs to Newcastle last year – including Fender’s own at the new Virgin Money Unity Arena at Newcastle Racecourse in August – currently has an overall 1.5 star rating on the website out of 23 reviews from people claiming to be former employees.

The company has denied the claims, calling them “false and malicious”, and insist that they do “not tolerate bullying, harassment or discrimination in any form”.

Earlier today (April 5), took to Twitter to inform his followers that SSD would no longer be promoting any of his upcoming shows.

“I’ve been completely overwhelmed this week after hearing so many shocking stories from our beloved north east music scene. It takes great courage to come forward and share experiences of mistreatment in the workplace,” Fender said.

“There is absolutely no place for harassment. We will no longer be working with SSD but have all been working to ensure that ticket holders for upcoming Newcastle shows will bot be affected.”

He continued: “The local grassroots scene means so much to me, my band and team. It’s been thriving in recent years but its time for a new era. I hope that we can take this opportunity to build a more inclusive industry, that is a safe space for all. We will do more to support it.

“Bring on the return of gigs so we can all get back to doing what we love, in the region we love.”

Fender’s comment come after Steve Davis, the managing director of SSD Concerts, resigned from his post with “immediate effect” following allegations from former staff about the company.

Announcing his departure via his personal Facebook page, the news was also confirmed by SSD Concerts in a statement provided to NME.

“SSD Concerts can confirm that Steve Davis has decided to resign as Managing Director and that an independent investigation will be held into recent claims,” the statement began. “The wellbeing of our team is of the upmost importance and any allegations of this nature must be investigated thoroughly.

“SSD Concerts has already opened up a confidential email for anyone who would like to raise a complaint directly to our head of HR on HR@ssdconcerts.co.uk. In order to ensure that anyone who wishes to come forward feels confident in doing so, we will also be asking an outside organisation to look into the allegations and be a separate point of contact. We will provide more details on this as soon as possible.

“The company is also taking steps to ensure that all shows will go ahead and that all tickets remain valid.”

Earlier this week, IDLES, Lanterns On The Lake and Kelly Lee Owens announced that they too would no longer be working with SSD. 

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