‘There will be extra security’ Thunder Bay, Ont., Hedley venue says

The Thunder Bay Community Auditorium will have extra security on hand Friday night for Hedley’s performance in the city, according to its manager of marketing and development. 

“Obviously you don’t want to give to much information to people who might be planning to be disruptive but I can just say that we have put measures in place to make sure that if people are coming here with the intent of being disruptive that they will be dealt with both through security and through the police,” Trevor Hurtig told CBC. 

“People have a right to express their concerns but the bottom line is the auditorium does hold almost 1500 people, and we try to ensure that everybody that comes is treated in a respectful manner, and we try to keep the peace wherever possible.” 

‘ample seats for this show’

Some members of the public have called for the show to be cancelled after allegations of sexual misconduct were levelled against the band’s lead singer, Jacob Hoggard — who has denied any non-consensual conduct but admitted to behaving in ways that “objectified women.” 

Trevor Hurtig

There are more than enough seats in the 1497-seat Thunder Bay Community Auditorium to accommodate Hedley ticket-holders, according to its manager of marketing and development, Trevor Hurtig. (Thunder Bay Community Auditorium)

Fort William Gardens has been issuing refunds to people who purchased tickets prior to the revelations and who have since chosen not to attend the show.

On Tuesday, the band announced on its Facebook page that the show was moving to the much smaller auditorium due to “unforeseen technical issues.”  

Hurtig told CBC he’s not sure exactly how many tickets are currently in circulation for the Thunder Bay concert but said he understands there is more than enough room in the 1497-seat auditorium to accommodate all of the concert-goers. 

“Based on the information that we’ve been given, there are ample seats for this show the way it sits right now,” he said.  

‘It’s not the best of situations by any means’ 

The venue says it will seat concert-goers in different sections of the hall based on the value of their original ticket.

“The VIP tickets and the more expensive seats will all be on the main floor, and then as the price graduates, people would start moving up to the mezzanine and the balcony here at the auditorium,” Hurtig said. 

Asked if the auditorium’s decision to host the show sends a message that Hoggard’s alleged conduct is acceptable, Hurtig replied, “Not at all.  It might have been different if this had gone to the courts … but at this point, they’re allegations, and you know we’re just really trying to help our client which is, in this case, Live Nation.”

The promoter has had a “soft hold” on the venue as an alternative site for the Hedley show for a long time, Hurtig said, adding he believes the hold predates the allegations against Hoggard. 

“There’s no getting around it.  It’s not the best of situations by any means,” Hurtig said, “but we’re just trying to work with the people who do want to come to the show and, like I said, Live Nation, who is an excellent client of ours, to make the best of a difficult situation.”
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