On Sunday, lead vocalist of The Story So Far, Parker Cannon kicked a fan off stage. This incident caused a massive divide within the pop punk community.
The band was performing “High Regard” as their encore song at the Mod Club Theatre in Toronto when a girl got on stage and began attempting to take selfies with the band. Parker Cannon responded by kicking her in the back, sending her off the stage. The Story So Far is now banned from performing at this club in the future.
In my opinion, it’s not that big of an issue. The pop punk scene is rowdy and bands like TSSF exemplify the pop punk culture of moshing, crowd surfing, and stage diving. It goes without saying that crowd surfing and stage diving are dangerous. There are always risks of falling or getting hurt. If you are worried about getting hurt, you should enjoy the concert from the ground and avoid crowd surfing and stage diving.
As rowdy as this scene is, there is a certain etiquette to it. Don’t drop a crowd surfer. Help people up when they fall. Don’t let someone get trampled on. Don’t touch a crowd surfer inappropriately. Don’t try to take their phone or wallet. Go to the back of the crowd after crowd surfing. Try to catch the stage divers. Don’t jump where you see gaps in the crowd. Don’t spend more than 2 seconds on stage. The list goes on. I’ve learned these rules by attending pop punk concerts for the past 8 years. No one had to tell me these rules, I understand them through observation and common sense.
The girl who Parker Cannon kicked off stage should not have been there that long in the first place and should not have been taking selfies. It’s disrespectful and distracting. She was trying to use stage diving as an opportunity to get close to the band, and that is wrong. Concerts are about community. You should not ruin everyone else’s experience by standing on stage like an idiot holding your phone in the air. It was the encore song, which is a very high energy time. Parker Cannon probably saw her and his instant reaction was something along the lines of, “how can I get this girl off the stage so I can continue performing?” I don’t think he meant to hurt her or harm her in any way.
The issue I have with people’s reactions to this incident is that people are posing it as sexual violence. This was not an act of sexual violence. Her gender is irrelevant to the situation. Parker Cannon did not touch her inappropriately or force himself on her. He pushed her off the stage because she was in the way and shouldn’t have been. If this was an act of sexual assault, I would be condemning Parker Cannon like everyone else. Sexual assault is inexcusable and unjustifiable. This, however, is a gray area.
I believe women and men should be treated equally in the pop punk and hardcore scenes. Women are not made of porcelain. If you don’t want to get hurt, stay away from the pit and don’t crowd surf or stage dive. It’s simple as that. Women do not deserve special treatment at concerts just for being female. It’s not all about you. Just because you want to take a selfie on stage with the band, doesn’t mean the band will let you.
If this makes me a “bad feminist,” then so be it. I don’t feel sorry for the girl who got kicked off stage by Parker Cannon. It’s his show, he has every right to push someone off stage if they don’t belong there. If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the pit.