Readers React To Lido Pimienta's Halifax Controversy

With Canadian SoundScan-logged album sales nudging slightly over 200 copies, 130,000 on-demand streams, and minimal mainstream airplay, the Polaris Music Prize winner has seemingly far exceeded her commercial popularity with news headlines that have reverberated across across Canada and the globe. Our readers react to a controversy stemming from Ms. Pimienta's recent appearance in Halifax, set out in the Nick Krewen-penned story, Lido Pimienta Takes Exception to 'Clickbait' Account of Her Halifax Festival Show, which appeared in Tuesday's edition of FYI.


Doug Chappell

A diva is born.

I believe it is a performer's job to entertain the audience not to "With this in mind, I made the decision to address this issue by rearranging the room to the best of my ability at the start of the show" to rearrange the audience.

Her desire to move men and white women to the back of the venue is absurd, what would be the reaction if a performer requested women and black/brown people move to the back?

This lady then defends her terrible requests to attempt to defend her actions... Sorry, those actions are not defensible. As our world attempts to make people equal she drives a nail through the heart of that movement by dividing people into categories.

I foresee a short career for the performer, not because she does not have talent but because she is more interested in "Her cause" than the feelings and enjoyment of the audience.

Shari Ulrich

Doug Chappell says it clearly - all you need to do to check if the behaviour is racist is to flip it - what would the reaction be if an artist insisted the people of colour move to the back? My first alarm bell with Lido was hearing her in an interview saying "I demand respect".

You don't get respect by demanding it - you get it by earning it - by how you carry yourself - by respecting others.

The second was her lashing out at the sound tech at the end of her acceptance speech for the Polaris Prize. If I was mortified, imagine what the judges must have felt about their selection at that moment. It was SO out of line and disrespectful of the entire process and event and shouldn't be considered okay in any realm of reality. Being an artist is as much about how you treat people as it is about talent.

I've been an artist for 45 years, and you don't bully an audience into feeling safe - you make them feel safe by how you talk to them and how you carry yourself. For instance, Jann Arden has had her lengthy career in part because she treats EVERYONE, no matter what their role is in making a show happen, with kindness and respect. Lido has some major entitlement 'tude that is not going to serve her music, her message, and her ability to share it with the world, or make the change she desires in the world (as in having an enduring career!) well.

Aleister Crowley

Discrimination is discrimination.
I don't go to white supremacist concerts for the same reason I don't go to hers.

Getting tired of the alt-left and alt-right bullshire!

Leon Wilkison

I am American, but I don't think it is any different in Canada; we are nations made up of individuals. Groupthink is wrong. Identity politics is WAY wrong. We are all individuals. You're allowed to give some anecdotes here or there; but people completely lose me the minute I hear them preface every interview with "as a (insert group here) person, I am (offended for some nebulous reason)".

We are all individuals.

Did I mention that we're all individuals?

Stop the oppression Olympics. Stop groupthink. Stop the vile and diabolical Victimhood Industrial Complex.


These bits of the artist's account leave me feeling a little suspicious:

"The photographer elbowed and shoved her way to the front..."

After talking about how women have to watch out for their safety at her shows, she gets her nose out of joint for one who took the measures she needed to get the shots she was looking for? Has anyone ever been at a crowded venue when they're trying to get to the stage? You kind of have to shove yourself to the front. The question (left vague by Pimienta) is, was it as "violent" as she says, or was this just the normal amount of asserting oneself that one has to do at a show?

"...blocking peoples’ views, swinging her arms at me..."

Was the photographer 'swinging her arms at' Pimienta?

The artist seems to be painting a picture as if the photographer was trying to take a swing at her. However, the way she said it leaves me with the impression that the photographer may have been holding her arms out in outrage to make a point. But more accurately stating that the photographer was 'waving her arms at me' would leave Pimienta in less of a victim's role, wouldn't it?

Just my 2 cents.

Chris Harmon

So, someone didn't want to go to the back of the bus based on their skin colour here?

Killer Marmot

Pimienta basks in her confrontational approach to social justice. She says she is not afraid to offend.

Well, she got her wish, and judging from her reaction, she is not as tough as she says she is.

I suggest that Pimienta halt the practice of asking white people to move back to allow more favoured people to stand near the stage, or be prepared for more controversy.

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