Monday, July 22, 2024

Alleged ‘pretendian’ band slated to play upcoming Phillips Backyard festival called out publicly


Phillip’s backyard music series, Reverb, is this weekend and as the shows get closer, some people have been unhappy with one band on the lineup.

On Friday, August 11th, the Canadian prog-rock duo Crown Lands is booked as one of the main acts of the day, but that band has been recently called out for being a ‘pretendian’ band.

Lead vocalist and drummer, Cody Bowles, claims to be Mi’kmaq and says they grew up learning from elders on the Alderville First Nation reserve. 

However, those who believe Bowles is falsely claiming to be Indigenous say they have contacted the Alderville First Nation who reportedly told them they don’t know who Bowles is. 

Furthermore, a YouTube video was made and had a spotlight cast on it which claims to have found Bowles family tree online which does not have any known Indigenous ancestry.

“Am so stoked to go to this but so bummed that you’re letting crown lands play,” said one commenter on the Phillips Brewing post announcing the Reverb schedule.

“They are pretending to be Indigenous so they can claim grants, and use our trauma as their claim to fame. Please don’t support them further,” they added. 

Another commenter said, “I would encourage you to listen to Indigenous Peoples who have shared their concerns with who you work with. Crown Lands is NOT Indigenous. Cody claims ties they cannot prove.”

In response to these claims, event organizers released a statement saying Crown Lands would remain in the event’s line up. 

“Our festivals include artists who are diverse, talented and give great performances,” said Samantha Beck, Marketing Manager for Phillips Brewing. 

“We take the accusations of Crown Lands’ heritage seriously, but we do act in good faith and we respect how people identify. Reverb is an inclusive music festival and our intention is to enjoy good music with good company.”

“Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. stands behind our selected artists for Reverb 2023,” she added. 

Another claim on the Phillips Backyard Instagram page was that the brewery’s social media team was deleting comments, but Beck says that is not the case. 

“Regarding the claims of deleting comments, these claims are not true, and we do not delete comments,” Beck said. 

As of this publication, Crown Lands is still slated to perform at the Reverb festival in the Phillips Backyard at 5:50 p.m. on Friday, August 11th. 

The accusations made against Crown Lands’ Cody Bowles remain unsubstantiated at this time. Neither Bowles, nor the band’s representation has made any comment on the matter.

Curtis Blandy

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