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

Heritage Fair at Ecole Willows

Research involved accessing primary research sources from Oak Bay Archives

Oak Bay celebrates Willows’ trusted and loved crossing guard

Margaret Hill showered with love on her 70th birthday

Cops corral pig on the loose in Cordova Bay

Pig was trotting towards Pat Bay Highway from Cordova Ridge

Celebrate Earth Day with Surfrider

Beach cleanup and social gathering Sunday at Clover Point

BCSPCA’s proposed limits on chickens go too far: urban food advocate

Capping the number of hens at 12 an unnecessary solution, Aaren Topley tells Victoria council

Party send-off for The Nose Knows

Controversial art on its way to public exhibition in Palm Springs, California

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

Unions set for national strike against CP Rail

Locomotive engineers, conductors and signals specialists seeking new collective agreements.

B.C. woman known to hitchhike around province missing

Aislynn Hanson, 18, last seen April 13; known to travel throughout B.C. by hitchhiking

B.C. court relies on Facebook to track down missing defendant

A court in Princeton, B.C. relied on Facebook to track down a B.C. missing his court date

Accused in B.C. school stabbing found unfit to stand trial

Decision will put hold on upcoming trial for Gabriel Klein

Producer, DJ Avicii found dead at 28

Swedish-born artist Tim Bergling, was found in Muscat, Oman

Updated: Cars lined up around the block as gas hits 109.9 in B.C. city

The gas wars continue in Vernon, B.C. with prices as low as $109.9 in North Okanagan

Trudeau ends 3-country tour with global reputation, alliances intact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finds footing on the world stage after China and India controversies

Most Read