Why I will never attend Grove Lane Studios (GLS) again
Ever since Grove Lane Studios opened, my husband and I, and many of our Charlottesville friends have frequently attended events there. We love the Kraken’s Lair party and have been to several other events including taking a van full of 12 people up to the Halloween party. We were willing to drive 3 hours each way (and pay for gas and hotel) because we liked the play space and loved the events that were being thrown there.
A few months ago, a member of the Charlottesville Education group (which my husband and I run) came to me and told me about a serious consent violation which happened to her at GLS at an event I did not attend. She asked me to advocate for her. I approached the party promoters as well as Ray, the owner of GLS. Ray said “we are looking into it” and “we will investigate” but never did anything or responded to my inquiries. The party promoters were proactive and banned this person from their events.
The alleged violator in question made sure to let all our friends know (after we banned him from our group) that “GLS won’t do anything to me. They would never ban me because Ray and I are ‘boys'” and “they won’t believe her, she’s nobody newbie and GLS has my back.”
In the end he was right, because GLS didn’t do shit.
I will not post his name here to avoid any issues with slander, and will gladly share his name and details of the incident with anyone who wants to message me.
Recently, several women came forward about consent violations and non-consensual violence that had taken place at GLS. These allegations were made against GLS’ head dungeon monitor. I was told that these were being investigated by the police and a public post was recently made which stated that the individual in question was recently removed from his position and banned from the venue during event hours.
After that, there was more talk, more allegations of racist and homophobic slurs being used by GLS’ owner as well as the individual in question. Then the owner of GLS posts an entry to try to address those. Then two victims show up on the thread and call bullshit. And then there was a misogynistic and victim-blaming shitshow that commenced.
To call victims “disgruntled & mischievous women” is the definition of rape culture and victim blaming. It’s bullshit.
Emrys (a friend of mine) put it so well, I’m mostly stealing this from her:
As of today, I can say that I will not be returning to Grove Lane Studios as long as it remains under the current ownership and management. The owner of this venue has shown (in public, on the venue’s fetlife account) that he’s perfectly willing to go on smear campaigns against victims, victim-blame, and defend someone who has apparently abused numerous people. He talks down to people who are brave enough to come forward and put themselves in the way of a metric fuckton of public ridicule, abuse, shame, and name-calling, and he joins right in with that.
Several groups whose events I attend (Kraken’s Lair, Indecent Enterprises, Strangelove, Rope Mecca, and more) have pulled their events from GLS. Join us in the boycott, won’t you?
Sumitted by – ligatures
Featured Photo Above: Oh god. In the kill room. This is how we celebrate the Dexter finale. 🙂