The managing director of SSD Concerts, Steven Davis has resigned following allegations from former staff. The company runs UK festivals including This Is Tomorrow and Hit The North. SSD is likely the largest live promotions agency in the North East and has worked on gigs such as Noel Gallagher, Jake Bugg, and 30 Seconds To Mars. They were most recently responsible for bringing the world’s first socially distanced gigs to Newcastle last year.
Numerous allegations were posted on Glassdoor, a workplace review website, last week. This included disturbing testimony that alleged poor treatment, bullying, and widespread misogyny within the company. A hacker had gained access to the company’s official Instagram account and shared screenshots of these accusations on the page. One person has since been arrested in connection with the hack. Among the posts shared, many highlighted issues with “underpaying” workers, “offensive” language, and people being made to feel “uncomfortable” at work. SSD Concerts currently has an overall 1.4 star rating on Glassdoor out of 21 reviews from people claiming to be former employees.
Davis has now announced his departure via his personal Facebook page, news which was further confirmed by his representative and NME. In a statement Davis said:
“I would firstly like to say that it is vital to take any allegations of inappropriate behaviour seriously. If people feel they have been treated poorly, they should feel safe in speaking out and confident that action will be taken.
There have been a number of online allegations, which have saddened me deeply. The seriousness of what has been anonymously alleged – and the hateful response to these claims – has seriously affected my family. They are my priority, and I will do everything I can to protect them from online abuse.
I would hope that this discussion can be one based upon the evidence. I entirely understand why people reading the comments about us posted on Glassdoor would be shocked. If true, they would mean people had been seriously let down. But I have been publicly tarnished based on several anonymous comments posted online.
It breaks my heart that this has had such an immediate and detrimental impact on something that has taken so long to build. Since founding this company, I have always strived to conduct business in the right way.
I am sorry for any mistakes I have made along the way, it has never been my intention. I would never want to upset or make anyone feel uncomfortable. If that has been the case, then I am shocked and saddened and am truly sorry. I will learn from any examples of such behaviour.”
Several artists have responded to the allegations and news surrounding the company over the last few days. Many have severed ties with the company including IDLES, Kate Nash, Little Comets and many more. Sam Fender took to social media to express his outrage with the situation.
— Sam Fender (@samfendermusic) April 5, 2021
SSD Concerts themselves have released a statement confirming Davis’s departure and assured that they will continue to look into these allegations and change their conduct accordingly.