Doctor Browns is a pub, performance and event venue in Middlesbrough, England. Similar to all pubs, customers go there to enjoy a few pints for the evening as well as listening to live rock music. Speaking of live music, though, the rock bar banned female-fronted bands from performing, as they believe they will lose business that way. The venue denies that they are being sexist and instead claims their customers don’t believe women can sing rock music. Manager Paula Rees defended the pub’s decision and told The Northern Echo the following:
“We had female singers on in the past and customers just didn’t like it – we’re a rock bar and they don’t think that women should sing male rock songs.”
“We’ve got to keep our regulars happy. I’m not a rock fan so can’t judge myself but I’ve been told that some women can sing and some can’t, but they can’t sing heavy rock. If we put a poster up and our regulars know there’s a woman in the band, they won’t give them a chance. They’re my bread and butter and we can’t risk nobody coming in.”
Rees also stated that the rule will be a bit relaxed by allowing one female singer next year, and would consider artists that will guarantee a large audience.
Coincidentally, the Northern Echo also reported that vocalist Hannah Sowerby (Revenant/Syndicate 66), had her gigs cancelled once the bar discovered she was female, despite promising a large crowd.