Posted in music on July 23, 2014

Saintseneca at BV-SXSW 2014 (more by Tim Griffin)
Saintseneca

Columbus, OH indie folk band Saintseneca were set to play this year's Fashion Meets Music Festival in their hometown, but they've dropped off the fest due to the headliner that was booked: R. Kelly. Here's an excerpt of what Saintseneca had to say:

Fashion Meets Music Festival happening in Columbus was a very exciting prospect to us; a way to represent our city and help form its identity, as well as a symbol of new things to come. We were very honored and excited to be asked to be a part of it.

That being said, we were disappointed that the artist selected to headline the festival was R. Kelly. We feel his selection as a performer ignores his very serious allegations of sexual violence and assault. We feel it is an affront to all survivors, who are already often overlooked and forgotten in our society.

As a result, we've decided to withdraw from the festival. This is in no way meant to be a direct attack on the festival or its organizers; in fact, we genuinely appreciate their hard work and their commitment to bringing something new and exciting to our hometown. It is just that being so closely associated with this artist, especially here in our own hometown, is something we are not comfortable with.

Jim DeRogatis points out that electronic duo Damn the Witch Siren dropped off the fest for the same reason too.

UPDATE: FMMF pulled R Kelly from the lineup.

Read Saintseneca's full statement, with a video from this year's Dark Arc, below...

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Long ago, when the earth was big and new, people sailed the oceans in large ships. In those days, most sailors could not read.

They mounted elaborately carved, over-sized figures right on the front of the ship. Dragons, eagles, horses with bulging eyes, that kind of thing.

These creatures didn't do much, except for one very important thing:
They identified the boat.

The headliner at a big music festival is kind of like that symbolic figurehead. It's the big text at the top of the page. There is definitely more to it; more bands, more people involved, more creative effort and time, but in the end that's the defining feature.

Fashion Meets Music Festival happening in Columbus was a very exciting prospect to us; a way to represent our city and help form its identity, as well as a symbol of new things to come. We were very honored and excited to be asked to be a part of it.

That being said, we were disappointed that the artist selected to headline the festival was R. Kelly. We feel his selection as a performer ignores his very serious allegations of sexual violence and assault. We feel it is an affront to all survivors, who are already often overlooked and forgotten in our society.

As a result, we've decided to withdraw from the festival. This is in no way meant to be a direct attack on the festival or its organizers; in fact, we genuinely appreciate their hard work and their commitment to bringing something new and exciting to our hometown. It is just that being so closely associated with this artist, especially here in our own hometown, is something we are not comfortable with.

We truly appreciate those who have already spoken out about this. It is inspiring to know so many others care about things of this very real and serious nature. The conversations, thoughts, and kinetic energy that these statements have garnered is inspiring.

We would like to offer the opportunity to channel this energy into something positive, so we plan to host an alternative concert. It will be a benefit that we hope will help in some way to support victims of sexual assault, as well as keep our minds on the issues at hand. Final details on that will be forthcoming.

We are aware that this action does not erase sexual assault or perpetrators of sexual violence from the world, nor does it keep R. Kelly from selling out venues and getting a check. We are simply hoping that this will encourage dialogue, as well as challenge our society's norm of ignoring upsetting things because it is easier than facing them head-on. We believe that if there is anywhere that we can make a positive change, it is here: in our own relationships, communities, and cities.

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Comments (28)

I'm sure the 2-3 people going to that festival to see this band are super bummed right now.

Posted by Anonymous | July 23, 2014 11:08 AM

Best believe they would not have dropped out if this was Bonnaroo.

Posted by Mike Jones | July 23, 2014 11:09 AM

smart move. they get more exposure for dropping out than they would have if they played the gig.

Posted by Anonymous | July 23, 2014 11:22 AM

Cool1 though everyone has their own taste in music but I guess this band is really amazing.

Posted by YOR Health | July 23, 2014 11:30 AM

Who would have guessed that the "FASHION MEETS MUSIC FESTIVAL" would be lacking in integrity?!?!

Posted by Anonymous | July 23, 2014 11:40 AM

These self righteous dudes that are dropping off the bill probably have real tiny dicks.

Posted by Anonymous | July 23, 2014 11:52 AM

R. Kelly wouldn't deign to pee on these guys.

Posted by Anonymous | July 23, 2014 11:56 AM

I totally agree with the third post. I would've never heard of this band, and now they make a statement and people will hear about them.

Posted by Anonymous | July 23, 2014 11:57 AM

Props for having integrity.

Posted by Anonymous | July 23, 2014 11:59 AM

This website is stupid

Posted by Anonymous | July 23, 2014 12:21 PM

Or they could have played and donated whatever they got to help victims, maybe tried to get R. Kelly pressured into doing the same...

Posted by Anonymous | July 23, 2014 12:27 PM

Will Youngham?

Posted by E.L. Fudge | July 23, 2014 12:29 PM

I wanna drink a gallon of Pepsi and eat two pounds of asparagus, then take a giant steaming yellow stinky piss all over that cracker's red mustache

Posted by Anonymous | July 23, 2014 12:36 PM

Saintseneca is a very good band. However, the singer looks like he has spent too much time in Williamsburg. Seriously though, check out their album. It's good.

Posted by Anonymous | July 23, 2014 12:46 PM

white people make the corniest music

Posted by Anonymous | July 23, 2014 12:47 PM

Serious Q: do you really need a capo when you're clearly playing bar chords?

Posted by Anonymous | July 23, 2014 1:02 PM

dude these guys are HUGE in Columbus...Ohio...

Posted by Anonymous | July 23, 2014 1:22 PM

Good for them, not enough people call out R. Kelly. Like when he headlined Pitchfork a few years ago.

Posted by Anonymous | July 23, 2014 2:05 PM

"It is just that being so closely associated with this artist, especially here in our own hometown, is something we are not comfortable with."

OK, but now everytime I see/hear R. Kelly or see/hear this band I'll think about how this band didn't want to play a show with R. Kelly.

Posted by Anonymous | July 23, 2014 2:19 PM

i heard if r kelly would cancel, they would play.

Posted by Anonymous | July 23, 2014 2:38 PM

I heard they are mad because R Kelly peed on his girlfriend.

Posted by Anonymous | July 23, 2014 3:53 PM

R Kelly is a disgusting abomination masquerading as a human being. Even more so than your run of the mill disgusting humans. Good for this band to not play.

Posted by Anonymous | July 23, 2014 4:55 PM

RE, "Or they could have played and donated whatever they got to help victims."

Local bands are not being paid for their involvement in the festival.

Posted by Anonymous | July 23, 2014 8:24 PM

Would you support R.Kelly headlining a "local arts and music" festival in Brooklyn?

Posted by Anonymous | July 23, 2014 8:26 PM

Williamsburg brought to you by Columbus, OH

Posted by Anonymous | July 25, 2014 12:50 AM

Dragons, eagles, bulging eyes...R Kelly.

Posted by Anonymous | July 28, 2014 11:54 PM

way to cave, FMMF!

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2014 4:27 PM

Will they do a show with Kelsey Grammer and Robe Lowe?

Posted by Kim | July 30, 2014 3:50 AM

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