Corner Hotel replace Riff Raff show with panel tackling sexual abuse in the music industry

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Corner Hotel replace Riff Raff show with panel tackling sexual abuse in the music industry


Last Thursday, rape allegations against US rapper ‘Riff Raff’ surfaced in a Facebook post. Melbourne woman Eliza Stafford detailed the horrific account of an encounter with the musician at his concert five years ago when she was only 19 – a public declaration brought to light by his impending Australian return. The US artist was meant to be playing at Richmond’s Corner Hotel this Friday June 8, a venue just down the road from where Ms Stafford now works.

As one of the first venues to cancel Riff Raff’s performance, The Corner Hotel is seizing the opportunity to host a panel discussion about the state of sexual harassment and assault across industries, and the way responses to this are changing. They announced the event via Facebook in collaboration with Listen, an organisation that uses a feminist perspective to promote the visibility and experiences of marginalised groups in the music industry, who are putting together the line-up for the night.  

The night kicks off at 6pm with a special guest speaker, followed by a panel discussion and turns into bands and beats from 8pm onwards. Tickets are only $10, with all proceeds going to not-for-profit organisations, as well as $1 from each drink sold in the band room. The Corner Hotel has complete wheelchair access too, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are invited to come for free, out of respect for the Wurundjeri people and the land on which the Corner is built.

The event is a marker for the way things are changing, and is a huge move in supporting victims of sexual assault and harassment. It took a whole range of venues and promoters to shut down this tour, but it all stemmed from the bravery of one woman sharing her story on the internet, showing other girls in similar situations that, with the right support, speaking out can make a difference.