Among the international metal festival circuit, UK fest Bloodstock has long been one of the more prominent events, giving metal bands a huge platform. However, due to a series of transphobic remarks made by one of the festival’s major organizers, several members of the festival staff have called out the festival and/or quit their jobs.
As reported by MetalSucks, Vicky Hungerford, one of Bloodstock’s primary talent bookers, posted to social media yesterday and expressed anger over the common practice of including one’s pronouns in their e-mails and social media profiles. The idea behind including one’s pronouns, for the record, is to both make it clear how one identifies and/or to show solidarity with those who have to make that clear because they are trans.
This, apparently, pissed Hungerford off, though it has nothing to fucking do with her:
This is not Hungerford’s first public outburst about people questioning the gender binary, as indicated by the following post that has since resurfaced.
However, Hungerford began to give a fuck once it affected her bottom line. Many members of the UK metal community took offense at the booker’s remarks, particularly those involved with the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, which sponsors the Sophie Lancaster Stage at Bloodstock. The foundation was set up in memory of Sophie Lancaster, a British goth who was murdered alongside her boyfriend due to the way they dressed.
Hungerford deleted her initial posts and tweeted a short apology, followed by a longer, more descriptive one:
This non-apology was greeted as just that by several members of the Bloodstock staff. Festival entertainment manage Paul Watling quit his position over the issue, describing the festival’s handling of this situation as “frankly vile.”
Meanwhile, the team behind Bloodstock’s Twitch channel canceled their streams for in protest, posting the following message in which they apologized to the LGBTQ community and urged the festival to do better.
Whether or not Hungerford remains employed at Bloodstock remains to be seen. More on this as it unfolds.
Everyone at The Pit wants to make a few things clear: all are welcome in metal. The LGBTQ+ community is vital to metal culture, and posting one’s pronouns in either identification and solidarity is something we fully support. If you love this music, you should feel safe at the party. If you try to police someone else’s lifestyle because it bothers you, go fuck yourself.
Words by Chris Krovatin