Hawkwind fans branded ‘wrong kind of people’
UPDATE:Since publication of this story the venue involved, Conkers, have underlined they were not involved in negotiations between the promoter and the band, and say Hawkwind and their fans would be welcome at their premises. Find out more.
Hawkwind have been forced to cancel an all-day event in a Leicestershire venue after organisers claimed the band’s fans are an undesirable audience, the band say.
The space-rock veterans were set to perform at the Conkers attraction in the National Forest, a scheme designed to create a new 200-square-mile area of woodland in central England.
They say bosses won’t agree to run the September event, but they haven’t been offered a full explanation.
And they’re astonished because the show was only booked after promoters approached the band, having enjoyed a previous festival set.
Hawkwind explain in a statement: “The venue manager has pulled the plug, claiming Hawkwind will attract the wrong sort of audience to his venue, and he has refused to staff it.
“We have refuted these allegations, and offered references from police and councils all over the country where Hawkwind have played at numerous festivals and events, proving our fans have always behaved impeccably.
“Despite several emails to the National Forest Folk people, who put on the shows at Conkers, they refuse to give us any more information to back up the unfounded allegations, or to give us the name of the manager who has made these claims.
“They have not even had the courtesy to acknowledge our emails or texts.”
Hawkind say they’re “saddened and stunned” by developments and add: “It was the Forest Folk Festival people who contacted us in the first place, after watching our performance at the recent Off The Tracks festival. They invited us to put on the show.”
However, the daughter of the event’s promoters says she has no knowledge of any slur, and insists the situation is the result of a misunderstanding.
Kirstine Szifris tells Classic Rock: “After attending a Hawkwind concert myself, I mentioned it to my parents as as fantastic show with a wonderful audience.
“The event was never confirmed. We tentatively enquired about the possibility of a one-off evening concert with our own support band. No contracts were signed, no dates were confirmed and no fees were decided.”
She adds: “An all-day event was never what we thought about doing – it’s well beyond our comfort zone.
“This is quite an upsetting and distressing situation for us. We feel there has been a huge misunderstanding.”