According to a statement put out by Bloodstock Festival, Director Vicky Hungerford has taken a “step back” from her role as talent booker in the wake of an incendiary post published on Thursday October 14 that mocked the usage of pronouns in emails.
First posted on Twitter and reposted on various platforms, she stated, “If you’re going to start putting pro nouns [sic] on your email so I can refer to you as he/him she or her I’m binning your emails …”.
The post, referring to those identifying as non-binary, and those offering solidarity by stating their own, gendered pronouns, immediately drew condemnation across the metal community. Hungerford responded with a series of tweets, firstly saying “Well that escalated quickly !!!”, before making a conditional apology: “So it appears my last tweet offended people and that was NOT my intention, I deleted my tweet as some people were upset and I was NEVER intending to upset anyone! If you were offended by my tweet then I do apologise!”
She later followed up with a fuller apology, stating: “I fully support everyone in the LGBTQI+ community and am always happy to learn more about how to be a better ally; I am genuinely upset I have caused upset to these very people today… I only wish I could take back my ill thought-out comment.”
Many have refused to accept the apology, pointing to previous posts, not least an Instagram post from 2018 where she attacked “gender neutral bullshit”, stating, “If this post offends you, please note I DO NOT GIVE A FUCK #snowflakes”.
Such comments clearly contradict Bloodstock ideals of inclusiveness, symbolised by the festival’s second S.O.P.H.I.E. stage (Stamp Out Prejudice, Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere), sponsored by the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. Chief Executive of the Foundation, and mother of Sophie, Dr Sylvia Lancaster OBE, was amongst those who commented, putting out a statement saying, “Having lost my daughter to hate and intolerance I do not take Vicky’s comments lightly… We will be meeting with Bloodstock to talk about our future relationship.”
Statement from Sylvia Lancaster. pic.twitter.com/Qede8oQz6nOctober 15, 2021
In the wake of the initial comment, Bloodstock’s Twitch channel has paused its stream at the request of its own team, and entertainment manager Paul Watling has announced his departure on Facebook.
The statement put out by Bloodstock festival can also be read in full below.
pic.twitter.com/ptrEKyTQN6October 15, 2021