Bands Protest Fellow Warped Tour Act Accused of Sexual Misconduct
Front Porch Step, the stage name for Ohio-based singer-songwriter Jake McElfresh, has recently been the subject of allegations that he convinced underage girls to exchange nude photos with him. Despite reports that McElfresh had subsequently been removed from this year’s Vans Warped Tour, the singer played a set at the festival’s Nashville stop yesterday (July 1). His appearance incited other Warped Tour artists to protest his inclusion on the roster.
Toward the end of last year, McElfresh was accused of sending sexually explicit texts and photos and making inappropriate phone calls to underage girls. As a result, a Change.org petition was created to have the 23 year-old singer removed from this year’s Warped Tour, garnering more than 13,000 signatures.
The petition implored Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman to reconsider McElfresh’s place on the 2015 roster. Lyman seemingly confirmed as much, noting that the Ohio musician -- who addressed the allegations in a statement posted to his Facebook -- had been taken off the festival’s website.
However, Mcelfresh performed at yesterday’s Warped Tour in Nashville, accompanied by a reported five security guards. Now, other acts on the Warped Tour lineup have rallied to have Mcelfresh removed from the festival. Read their tweets below:
The Wonder Years’ Dan Campbell went so far as canceling his Warped Tour set on the Acoustic Basement Stage, which was scheduled to follow McElfresh’s.
Nashville Scene reached out to Lyman regarding McElfresh’s appearance, and the Warped Tour founder offered this statement:
I’ve been trying to encourage some of these girls that accused him to please file charges and not one person would. Now will he be on the whole Warped Tour? No. But it’s a process of his rehabilitation and he came in and played his 20 minutes and left.
Lyman also said that McElfresh did not get paid for his performance in Nashville:
He didn’t get paid. I didn’t pay him. We didn’t announce him until he was on site, nobody knew he was playing. This was a one-time supervised part of a rehabilitation process. The other process could’ve been, just like anyone, if he had to go to trial or court. Since no one has filed a charge, for me it’s time to move on. He’s not on the whole tour, this is one piece of a puzzle of trying to bring people back that have made mistakes in their lives. He could be going to jail, and if there had been charges against him I assure you he wouldn’t have been here.
Check out footage of the performance below.
Front Porch Step – Opening Remarks at Warped Tour in Nashville