Hedley fans flock to Ottawa show despite misconduct claims

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Hedley fans flock to Ottawa show despite misconduct claims

Hedley still managed to draw an enthusiastic crowd in Ottawa Tuesday night amidst allegations of sexual misconduct that recently appeared anonymously on social media.

Kelsey Pokoj, 14, and Morgan Nordskog, 18, had the opportunity to meet the band ahead of the show thanks to the VIP tickets they bought at their first possible opportunity in September.

"It was great, we hugged," Pokoj said.

Last week, anonymous Twitter users accused the band of sexual misconduct involving young fans, prompting radio stations across Canada, including CBC, to pull their music. 

The opening acts for Tuesday's concert, Neon Dreams and Shawn Hook, pulled out of the tour last week.

They were replaced hours before the opening curtain by Toronto-based Liteyears.

Nordskog said after more than 10 years of being Hedley fans and months waiting for the show, they're trying to set the allegations aside and enjoy the music.

"It's hard and confusing," Nordskog said.

"It might be the last time, so I'm going to make it the best time."

'They're so good to us'

Paige Kirkwood from Kingston and her friend Monica Nolan from Brockville said they try to catch every Hedley show in Ontario when the band goes on tour.

"We've met them so many times. They've always just been such genuinely nice, great guys to us, we never experienced anything like the allegations have said," Kirkwood said.

"They're so nice. There's no proof. And we love them, they're so good to us."

Some fans were not so quick to forgive the Juno Award-winning band, demanding a refund for the TD Place show when the allegations went public.

Band promises 'better'

Hedley was up for three Junos this year including fan choice, group of the year and pop album of the year, but has withdrawn from consideration for the prizes and will no longer perform at the televised event. 

The band was dropped by its management team last week.

The philanthropic organization behind WE Day also distanced itself from the group after a long relationship.

In a statement released on Monday, the band said they "intend to take responsibility and talk about how we have let some people down and what we intend to do about it."

The written statement seemed to walk back part of their earlier comments blaming the "rock and roll lifestyle" and their age at the time of the allegations.

The band said those statements weren't good enough and that they intend "to do and be better."