Edmonton's Needle Vinyl Tavern Closed Indefinitely After Sexual Harassment Allegations

Edmonton's Needle Vinyl Tavern Closed Indefinitely After Sexual Harassment Allegations
Edmonton's Needle Vinyl Tavern has closed its doors indefinitely after a former employee has alleged sexual harassment.

According to the Edmonton Journal, a sign on the venue's door Tuesday (November 21) read: "The Needle Vinyl Tavern will be closed indefinitely. We will let you know if and when that changes."

All of the venue's social media channels have been deactivated, though their official website can still be found online.

On November 19, former staff member Brittany Lyne Rudyck, who was listed as the Needle's social media manager, wrote in a Facebook post that she walked out of her job at the Needle while accusing one of the venue's owners of sexual harassment over an incident earlier this year. 

"I was sexually harassed by one of the owners in March. He was blackout drunk and groped me several times after I repeatedly said no," Rudyck wrote. "It came to the point where I had to ask security to kick him out. He was disrespectful to a number of staff that night, and sadly that was not the first time he'd acted inappropriately at the venue. I informed my manager of this as well as a few other staff members, who were supportive."

Rudyck revealed that she had received "a half baked apology email from this person the next day," adding that she "[hadn't] heard a word from him since. Nor from the other two owners who are quite often in the room."

You can read her full post below.

In a statement emailed to the Edmonton Journal Monday (November 20), co-owner Robert Campbell wrote that the Needle has asked the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton and the YWCA to review its policies. Campbell confirmed to the CBC Tuesday (November 21) that the venue had cut ties with the man who allegedly harassed Rudyck.

"The Needle Vinyl Tavern has absolutely zero tolerance for any behaviour or actions by staff or patrons that impacts the positive environment we have worked so hard to cultivate," Campbell's statement read. "Our management team and ownership are taking this situation very seriously, and we are taking immediate steps to ensure that the Needle is a safe environment for staff, artists and patrons."

In the wake of the allegations, a number of bands who were set to perform at the Needle have organized a charity concert for sexual assault survivors. The event will take place at Edmonton venue the Buckingham on Sunday (November 26), with all proceeds set to be donated to the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton.

A number of artists who were set to perform at the Needle have also made venue changes ahead of their stops in Edmonton, including Daniel Romano, Cold Specks, Craig Cardiff, Chron Goblin and more. 

Former Our Lady Peace drummer Jeremy Taggart and Canadian actor Jonathan Torrens, who were set to host their Taggart and Torrens Podcast at the venue Monday night, wrote on their Twitter account that they were "heartbroken to hear about the allegations of mistreatment of the staff at The Needle Vinyl Tavern in Edmonton...We cannot in good conscience perform there tonight."