TORONTO — Hedley's opening act for Monday night's concert in Quebec City was cancelled after rape allegations against the embattled band's lead singer Jacob Hoggard recently emerged.
Videotron Centre, the venue hosting the show, announced on its Facebook page that rock band Liteyears was no longer slated to begin the concert.
"Thank you for your understanding,'' the venue said without further explanation.
It's unclear whether Liteyears backed out of the show themselves and the band did not immediately respond for comment.
The move follows a CBC story on Sunday that recounted a 24-year-old woman's allegations that Hedley frontman Hoggard sexually assaulted her in a hotel two years ago. The woman said that Hoggard slapped her, choked her, spat on her, repeatedly forced her to have vaginal and anal sex and dragged her around a hotel room by her legs.
A lawyer for Hoggard has denied any wrongdoing by the musician.
Allegations of sexual misconduct first appeared earlier this month on social media in posts made by anonymous users.
A venue manager in London, Ont. previously told Exclaim that police found the shoes of an underage girl who had allegedly been drugged in a green room used by Hedley in 2005.
The allegations led the band to withdraw from consideration for three Juno Awards categories and back out of performing on the telecast.
The band's members have called the allegations involving young fans "unsubstantiated,'' but acknowledged that in the past they "engaged in a lifestyle that incorporated certain rock 'n' roll cliches.''
Previous openers quit
While Hedley pushed ahead with its current tour, the band's original opening acts Shawn Hook and Neon Dreams ditched their spots, and several radio stations yanked the band from their playlists.
Toronto's Liteyears joined as a replacement opener about a week ago. The band's lead singer Brent Wirth told a crowd in Halifax's Scotiabank Centre on Friday that it considered their spot on the tour as a rescue from near dissolution of their music career aspirations.
"We weren't a band, as of a couple days ago,'' Wirth said. "About a month back, we went through one of the toughest times we have.
"We kind of lost sight of the dream. This, of course, is the dream,'' he added.
With files from Emma Paling
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