Northern Ireland

Sprints singer ‘sexually assaulted’ during Belfast gig

Frontwoman Karla Chubb of Dublin punk outfit was assaulted while performing at gig on Saturday, band claims

Dublin garage punk band Sprints. PICTURE: SPRINTS/X
Dublin garage punk band Sprints. PICTURE: SPRINTS/X

A Dublin punk band have hit out after claiming their singer was sexually assaulted during a gig in Belfast.

Sprints, a four-piece garage punk band, said in a statement that their lead singer, Karla Chubb, was assaulted during a performance on Saturday.

The group played a gig on Saturday at the Ulster Sports Club venue in Belfast city centre, as part of their Letter to Self tour.

In a statement posted to the Sprints X social media account on Sunday, they condemned an incident alleged to have occurred during the show.

The band, whose debut album Letter to Self reached number 11 in the Irish album chart following its release in January, said it was the second time on the tour that the singer has been sexually assaulted while performing.

Photos from previous gigs by the band on their account show their lead singer being held aloft by fans in the crowd and also performing while among audience members off the stage.

“Yesterday, Karla was sexually assaulted for the second time on the Letter to Self tour,” a band spokesperson said.

“The fact that this has occurred twice is abhorrent, the fact it still happens at all is disgusting. We will not stand for it and we will not be silent about it.

“Female performers should be able to engage with their audience, step off the stage and perform without fear of groping, unwanted touching, cat-calling and harassment.

“The fact that this is still an every day occurrence for most women is beyond reprehensible.

The statement added: “For those who noticed and called out the behaviour yesterday, thank you. To those of you responsible for the behavior, shame on you. Do better.”

A PSNI spokesperson said: “Police are investigating a report of sexual assault inside a bar in the High Street area of Belfast on Saturday night, Saturday 20th April.

“We believe it may have happened sometime between 8.30pm and 10pm. Enquiries are ongoing and we would encourage anyone who witnessed the incident, or who has any information to contact Police on 101, quoting reference 1403 of 21/04/24.”

The Ulster Sports Club were approached for comment.