Sprints queer lead singer Karla Chubb sexually assaulted at Belfast gig

"I should be able to get off the stage at my own show without fear of being groped," Karla Chubbs shared in a social media statement.

Black and white photo of SPRINTS singer Karla Chubb singing into a microphone
Image: @SPRINTSmusic via X

Karla Chubb, the queer lead singer of the Dublin-based punk band Sprints, was allegedly groped and harassed while performing at the Ulster Sports Club in Belfast on Saturday, April 20.

It was the second time that Chubb fell victim to sexual assault during Sprints’ current Letter To Self tour, as state by the group in a post on social media. 

“The face that this has occurred twice is abhorrent, the fact it still happens at all is disgusting,” they said, adding: “We will not stand for it and we will not be silent about it.”

Sprints continued: “Female performers should be able to engage with their audience, step off the stage or perform without fear of groping, unwanted touching, cat-calling and harassment.

“The fact that this is still an everyday occurrence for most women is beyond reprehensible. To those who noticed and called out the behaviour yesterday, thank you. To those of you responsible for the behaviour, shame on you. Do better.”


“I should be able to get off the stage at my own show without fear of being groped,” Karla Chubb later told BBC Newsbeat and expressed her initial reluctance to address the sexual assault publicly, fearing disbelief or dismissal. 

She added: “I think any woman who’s experienced any kind of assault or harassment is almost like… are people gonna think I’ve had one too many drinks, and I’ve made it up?”

However, the overwhelming support she received reinforced the importance of shedding light on the issue.

The singers’ decision to speak out sparked a wave of solidarity and shared experiences from artists across the UK and US, highlighting the widespread nature of the problem. Her statement on social media, condemning such behaviour and advocating for a safe environment for female performers, resonated deeply within the music community.

The Women and Equalities Committee’s report on misogyny in the music industry, led by MPs like Caroline Nokes, highlights the structural inequalities and barriers to justice faced by victims. The committee’s recommendations, including the outlawing of non-disclosure agreements in cases of sexual abuse and harassment, could be crucial steps toward holding perpetrators accountable and ensuring the safety of performers.

In response to the report, the UK government acknowledged the need for comprehensive legal protections and committed to further legislation to combat the misuse of NDAs. However, concrete steps must be taken to dismantle the structures of power that enable and perpetuate sexual violence within the industry.

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