Femme Wave and SASS stand for an inclusive community

As of lastnight the Palomino Smokehouse has removed the band Black Pussy from their show line up on September 17th.


Earlier in the week Femme Wave, Calgary's feminist music festival, decided to withdraw its festival programming from the Palomino. SASS, the Society for the Advocacy of Safer Spaces supported the decision saying, “by continuing to support Black Pussy, the Palomino is not acting in the best interest of all of their patrons.”


This is not the first time the band has been the source of controversy. They have been removed from bills multiple times as many have found their name offensive. SASS continued, “Numerous people have come forward to say the band’s name is offensive and that it makes them and others in our community feel unwelcome and unsafe." Local band Dream Whip also came forward in support of both SASS and Femme Wave.

After BP’s removal from the line up, the response was not dissimilar to other situations in which women speak out on the internet. BP has responded with a sarcastic tweet and the women behind the change and those who have come out in support have, of course, been harassed.

The comments on most posts about the event are filled with men who don’t seem to understand or care about the intrinsic issue with choosing a band name filled with racist and sexist implications.

Similar to the Viet Cong controversy earlier in the year, it’s clear that people value having an inclusive arts community. Calgary’s music scene has proved it can make everybody feel welcome, instead of tolerating offensive band names.

Creating a safe music community is something Vamp previously spoke with SASS about, and continue to believe that the best kind of scene is an inclusive one. Besides, if it is really the band’s music that you are passionate about, would you like it any less if it was released under another name?