Ezra Furman embarks on tour soon in support of his new album, Twelve Nudes, due out later this month. The tour was set to include a Cambridge, MA show at Sonia on September 11, but it's been cancelled, and rescheduled for September 23 at Great Scott in Allston, MA. In a post on Instagram, Ezra explains that the change was made "FOR FEMINIST REASONS":
We are sad to say we have canceled our show at Sonia in Cambridge on September 11th.
It will now take place at Great Scott on September 23rd.
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.
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.
Joseph Sater, who is co-owner of The Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub, the complex of venues that Sonia is part of, stepped down as manager in 2018, with a statement that read, "admittedly, it’s been challenging to find an appropriate way to respond to unsubstantiated third-party claims on social media. 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 Harvard Crimson, "rumors of sexual misbehavior first surfaced about a year ago. In fall 2017, a DJ wrote an online post alleging that one of the Middle East's owners had assaulted multiple women.The details were and have remained murky. The post named no names. No victims subsequently came forward with stories. And the Cambridge Police Department has not received any complaints about Slater, according to CPD spokesperson Jeremy Warnick."
Ezra Furman's tour includes a NYC show at Bowery Ballroom on September 14 with Shilpa Ray. Tickets are on sale now.