This is a part of
KU Leuven x AB Talks
A panel discussion about cancel culture in the music industry
This talk will take place. This is a Covid Safe Ticket event! Discover everything you need to know for your visit to AB here.
This debate will be held in Dutch.
KU Leuven and AB study societal challenges and seek solutions through the lens of music and nightlife culture.
Cancel culture might well be the most emotionally charged concept of recent years. According to some, it is the official term for the culture in which famous figures are boycotted due to a wrong act or statement. Others strongly question the existence of the phenomenon. Together, we investigate whether cancel culture really is a thing or not and how the music world deals with it.
There’s a good chance that one of your favourite artists has been cancelled. Just think Michael Jackson, Marilyn Manson, Bob Dylan or R. Kelly. Closer to home, Bart Peeters and Romeo Elvis recently found themselves in the eye of the storm. The unacceptable lyrics, statements or behaviours of artists increasingly lead to public outcry and calls to boycott their repertoire.
Strangely enough, the controversy around cancelled musicians often causes a serious increase in their streaming figures, and with it their turnover. Musicians often feel little to no economic impact from their cancelled status. What’s more, in many cases, their fanbase becomes even more dedicated and they can count on the support of other well-known and influential figures.
Aside from (temporary) damage to their image, there are often no substantial consequences. Can we then even speak of a cancel culture, or is it negated because we too often separate artists from their art? Should we, as fans and listeners, actually do that? And how does the music world itself deal with the phenomenon? Don’t gatekeepers like concert- and festival-organisers, music compilers or labels bear a crushing responsibility for the promotion (or non-promotion) of cancelled artists?
There’s quite a bit of explanation needed to place cancel culture in context. Just the thing that is often so difficult on social media platforms. That’s why AB and KU Leuven want to examine the phenomenon in real life during an animated panel discussion in the AB Club on Monday 29 November.
- Jenny Janssens (FutureLab, No Thanks!)
- Gerrit Kerremans (VRT)
- Aafke Romeijn (musician/author/journalist)
- Koen Lemmens (KU Leuven)
- Tom Bonte (Ancienne Belgique)
- Korneel De Clercq (Radio 1) - moderator
Pictures © Lien Peters