Front Porch Step Played Warped Tour Today; Everyone Is Upset
Acoustic singer/songwriter Jake McElfresh aka Front Porch Step has received a cold welcome in Nashville, Tennessee at his only performance on this year’s Vans Warped Tour.
The hostility comes in the wake of a string of sexual harassment allegations against McElfresh that appeared online in January and led to a petition asking for the singer to be removed from the tour. The allegations centred around sexting, phone sex and exchanging explicit photos with underage girls.
Reports surfaced this morning that Front Porch Step would perform a one-off set in Nashville, where he now currently resides. Speaking to Alternative Press, Vans Warped Tour organiser Kevin Lyman stated that he had agreed to allow McElfresh to perform an unpaid set at the recommendation of the singer’s personal therapist, stressing that McElfresh was yet to have any formal charges laid against him and that “if he was a legitimate danger to anyone, he simply would not have been here”. However, Warped punters and fellow performers alike have expressed disapproval over Front Porch Step’s appearance at the festival.
Senses Fail attacked Front Porch Step directly on Twitter, saying: “@Frontporchstep you should not be playing today. Don’t watch, don’t buy! Go support @ManOverboardNJ playing at the same time.”
The Wonder Years’ Dan “Soupy” Campbell was a tad more subtle, announcing on Instagram this morning that he would no longer be appearing on the Acoustic Basement stage (where he was originally scheduled to play directly after Front Porch Step) but, like Senses Fail, encouraged fans to watch Man Overboard during Front Porch Step’s set.
Members of Beartooth, The Story So Far and Citizen, amongst others, also strongly suggested fans boycott the performance. According to images circulating on Twitter, McElfresh was accompanied by additional security guards for his own protection on the way to, from, and during his performance on the Acoustic Basement stage. Fan-shot footage from the set shows McElfresh responding heatedly to a heckler in the crowd during the opening minutes of the set.
— CITIZEN (@CitizenMi) July 1, 2015
And to @Frontporchstep, don’t stick around. Unless you want to find out what half the people on this tour want to do to you.
— Taylor Lumley (@tlums) July 1, 2015
Front Porch Step playing Warped Tour today is not a good idea for a lot of reasons and a lot of people. At the very least wait a year. — Jonathan Diener (@jonodiener) July 1, 2015