Feminist SXSW Showcase Drops Crystal Castles From Lineup After Alice Glass’ Disapproval
Crystal Castles were one of the very first names announced for this year’s SXSW, but now, they have been removed from the lineup for a feminist showcase following former frontwoman Alice Glass’ disapproval.
Crystal Castles — which now features Glass’ one-time bandmate Ethan Kath and her replacement Edith Frances — were scheduled to play Tumblr’s 79 Cents party at SXSW on March 16 alongside Jhené Aika, Tacocat, Little Simz and Empress Of. The showcase’s name refers to the wage gap between men and women, and it intends to highlight feminist issues.
However, fans, and eventually Glass, aired misgivings regarding Crystal Castles’ appearance at the showcase in light of Kath and Glass’ public fallout following her departure from the band in 2014. (Kath claimed Glass “didn’t appear on Crystal Castles’ best-known songs.”) Glass called the choice inappropriate.
“As someone who knew Ethan Kath on a personal and professional level, it is my opinion that he is not an appropriate artist to be performing at a feminism-centric event,” Glass told the Verge.
Originally, Tumblr’s head of music Nate Auerbach defended Crystal Castles’ place on the lineup, strangely arguing — seemingly in spite of the very nature of his showcase — he wanted to stay out of “the politics of the things”:
I think the thing that’s important here is that we’re celebrating the female voice on Tumblr, and that’s very much what Crystal Castles is… It’s not about having only women on the stage, it’s about being in the same place that men are, and that’s in front… I’ve heard Edith’s voice, and I’ve seen photos, and I know enough that she’s incredible. I don’t get involved in the politics of the things.
Auerbach and Tumblr have now decided to drop Crystal Castles from their SXSW showcase and issued the following statement:
We’ve removed Crystal Castles from the lineup of the 79 Cents party. We don’t know the facts around comments made about a member of the band, and we’re not going to engage in an investigation around it. We’re hosting this event to highlight gender disparity issues, something that Tumblr and our community cares deeply about, and we don’t want the band’s presence to distract from this important mission.
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