Hedley fan’s Charene Gonschorek, left, and Brandon Krys show their support for the band before the final concert of their current tour in Kelowna on Friday, March 23. (Jeff Bassett/The Canadian Press)

Embattled band Hedley plays last show in B.C. before hiatus

About 3,000 tickets had sold for final performance at Kelowna’s Prospera Place

Hedley’s frontman suggested Friday that the group’s “indefinite hiatus” may not be permanent as the pop-rockers closed out their tour’s final show in Kelowna under a cloud of sexual misconduct allegations.

“This is goodnight, not goodbye,” Jacob Hoggard told boisterous fans. “So stay in our lives. And Kelowna, I will promise I will stay in yours.”

The floor seats at Prospera Place were mostly filled, but the arena had large empty spaces in the stands.

READ MORE: Hedley withdraws from Junos, plans to discuss ‘how we have let some people down’

READ MORE: Refunds given out for Hedley concerts

The day before the concert, the venue said about 3,000 tickets had sold and shows there tend to hold a maximum of roughly 5,000.

Hoggard has denied ever engaging in non-consensual sexual behaviour, but he admits he has behaved in a way that objectifies women.

The group has been dropped by its management team, blacklisted by scores of radio stations and abandoned by musicians booked as tour openers.

Ahead of the Kelowna show, fans were handing out flyers in support of the band.

Laura Carruthers made 3,000 photocopies asking people to sign a petition urging radio stations to reinstate airplay for the band.

She was in the parking lot outside the arena handing out the pages, which have the phrase #istandforhedley written on them with hearts drawn in red glitter.

“I’ll always be standing by them. Because it’s allegations, it’s not actually a charge yet,” Carruthers said.

Valerie Rivet, who travelled from Ottawa to see her favourite band for the 33rd time, said the accusations against Hoggard haven’t been proven, and if they ever are, she would re-evaluate her love of the band.

“Twitter is not a court of law,” she said. “For now I stand with them.”

Kris Jerstad was standing outside Prospera Place with two $75 floor seats he was hoping to sell.

He said his daughter bought them months ago, but no longer wanted them after the allegations against Hoggard came to light.

“She’s refusing to see them,” he said. “She sticks to what she believes in.”

Minutes before the show started, Jerstad gave away the tickets to a woman for free and left.

Toronto police have said they are investigating Hoggard, but no charges have been laid.

Online accusations began surfacing last month suggesting inappropriate encounters with young fans.

A 24-year-old Ottawa fan of the band alleged to the CBC in February that she was sexually assaulted by Hoggard after chatting with him on the dating app Tinder and agreeing to meet him at a hotel in Toronto.

The CBC published another report weeks later of a Toronto woman who alleges Hoggard tried to force her to do things without her consent during a sexual encounter in 2016.

A Calgary radio host has also alleged that Hoggard groped her and made lewd remarks to her seven years ago.

In announcing he would be putting his career on hold, Hoggard said he would make real changes in his life, seeking guidance from his family and learning from the “amazing women in my life.”

“The way I’ve treated women was reckless and dismissive of their feelings. I understand the significant harm that is caused not only to the women I interacted with, but to all women who are degraded by this type of behaviour,” he wrote in a statement posted to his Twitter account Feb. 28.

“I have been careless and indifferent and I have no excuse. For this I am truly sorry.”

Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Lack of security: why Vancouver Island food production is on the decline

Big Read: agriculture a big, expensive commitment as advocates push to make us more food secure

RCMP investigate sexual assault in Courtenay

Comox Valley RCMP officers are investigating a reported sexual assault at Sandwick… Continue reading

Comox Strathcona Waste Management board approves tour of Nova Scotia advanced recycling plant

Three CVRD representatives will tour Sustane Tech. plant while in Halifax for FCM conference

Comox opts for ‘blank sheet’ when it comes to cannabis bylaw

Comox council unanimously approved a bylaw to prohibit the sale of cannabis within the town.

Big Read: locked out of the woods

Vancouver Islanders struggle to balance back country public access with private land protection

VIDEO: Moose found licking salt off B.C. man’s pickup truck

Tab Baker was in his garage in Prince George when the small moose gave his truck a clean

CONTEST: Win a whale-watching tour for four

Where in the world are the Snowbirds?

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

B.C. parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

16 of 20 fastest improving B.C. schools are public: Fraser Institute

Independent elementary schools remain at top of the chart in think tank’s annual report card

UPDATED: 1 person dead after highway crash in Nanoose Bay

Accident happened just before 4 p.m. near Hillview Road

NAFTA: Talks continue through weekend in scramble to get a deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called negotiations ‘perpetual’

Most Read