Just days after The Needle Vinyl Tavern shuttered its doors indefinitely following sexual harassment allegations against one of its owners, a local band held a fundraising event for the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton.
Brunch Club was scheduled to play a show at The Needle Vinyl Tavern on Friday night but made the decision to switch venues prior to the club closing. The decision to move venues came after a former employee of The Needle came forward with allegations that she was groped by an owner of the club.
“There were a few people that made posts online saying, if you’re not going to cancel a Needle show, at least donate it to a good charity. So we figured we would do that for a good cause,” said Patrick Earles, who plays guitar in the band.
The band held its show at Aria’s Bistro Friday night. All proceeds from the show went to the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton.
“I think the next step is trying to support those victims and the organizations that support those victims,” bass player and singer Ellen Reade said. “I think that’s super important. And it’s not just us, tons of other people in the community are hosting shows.
“The entire community is banding together to support this, which is awesome.”
Earlier this week, Brittany Lyne Rudyck — a former employee of The Needle Vinyl Tavern– said she left her job in public relations because she was groped by one of the owners and because the venue was considering hiring someone with a reputation for emotional abuse and sexual harassment.
In an interview with Global News on Monday night, Rob Campbell — one of three owners of the venue — said there was an incident that occurred “and we acknowledge that and regret it.”
While Campbell confirmed Rudyck’s groping claim, he said her allegations about the bar’s potential new hire involved bullying and sexism, not sexual harassment.
Several bands and artists announced they would not hold their shows at the venue after the allegations. The venue shut its doors indefinitely on Tuesday.
Christine Mason, who owns Aria’s Bistro, said she was happy to host the band, particularly when the show is for a good cause.
“I think it’s very, very important to create awareness around the sexual harassment issue,” she said. “To me, it means a lot. Anything that creates awareness to me is super, super good.”
Mary Jane James from the Edmonton Sexual Assault Centre applauded Rudyck for making her claims public. James said that The Needle has reached out to her centre for support and training.
Watch below: An owner of the Needle Vinyl Tavern in Edmonton says the establishment will be closed indefinitely after staff have received death threats.