The discreet return of Bernard Adamus

Nearly three years after retiring and apologizing for inappropriate behavior, singer Bernard Adamus is trying to come back on stage. Far from Montreal and the fiery debates around the redemption of denounced artists, the singer-songwriter has been performing since this spring in small regional venues. And his audience is there.

“The reaction has been very good. People were really looking forward to seeing him again. In five hours, we had sold all the tickets for the three evenings, ”says Victor Dubois-Beaudet, owner of the Wick Station microbrewery, a small 150-seat venue in Warwick, in the Centre-du-Québec region, where Bernard Adamus took the stage at the end of April.

In Saint-Gabriel-de-Brandon, Saint-Valérien-de-Milton or even Beauceville, the concerts of this figurehead of “folk trash” are often sold out. But would it be the same in the major centers? “I think that in Quebec, there would be no problem. But in Montreal, it might be different. There are so many people that inevitably there would be enough people to protest, even if it is a minority. Here, in the region, if someone does not agree, he will not say so. He knows that there won’t be enough people to spark a movement, ”says Francis Richer, who is organizing a dinner show with Bernard Adamus in downtown Saint-Raymond, in Portneuf.

When he announced the coming to town of Bernard Adamus, on June 17, Francis Richer admits that he feared the reactions on social networks. Finally, he says he received no negative comments. The proof, according to him, that the public is visibly ready to forgive him.

Second chance

Bernard Adamus has never been accused of anything in court. No journalistic investigation reporting allegations has been published in this regard either. During the movement of anonymous denunciations in the summer of 2020, his record company, Dare to Care, had dropped him after he was accused of several misconducts on social networks. The president of Dare to Care, Eli Bisssonnette, had subsequently resigned, accused in particular of having protected Bernard Adamus, while rumors swirled about the singer for several years.

In a long message posted on his Instagram account afterwards, Bernard Adamus for his part apologized, acknowledging that he had been “aggressive in [ses] gestures and words” towards women. “Sex and alcohol have too often mixed badly in my very tumultuous life,” he admitted, indicating that he wanted to take a professional break.

The singer had then completely disappeared from the public sphere, until he returned to the stage for the first time in three years a few weeks ago. He remains inactive on social networks and has not granted an interview to any media. Bernard Adamus did not wish to speak with The dutyindicating that he does not feel ready, as his return makes him “very nervous and sensitive”.

“It’s been three years since he retired, which is a very long time for an artist. He didn’t try to come back after six months. He took the time to work on it. He went to therapy. He apologized and he came back sober. He’s a better person today. You have to take that into account,” says Isabelle Archambault, who is producing some of the Bernard Adamus shows scheduled for this summer.

The one who describes herself as a feminist agreed to offer her a second chance, convinced of her good faith. However, she notes that theater promoters remain reluctant to add it to their programming. “There are a lot of promoters of big theaters who will let another year pass before scheduling it. They are waiting to see how it will unfold in small rooms this summer in the region, ”believes Mme Archambault.

Return by band

Personalities who have been embroiled in controversy have also begun a comeback in recent months: Maripier Morin, Julien Lacroix and Éric Lapointe, to name a few. Rather than trying to come back through the front door, most opted for a gradual return to the public.

“To do shows in small venues in the region, like Bernard Adamus, is not insignificant. He tests. It takes the temperature of the water,” analyzes Martine St-Victor, communications strategist. It does not pass judgment on the legitimacy or otherwise of these artists to pursue their careers following allegations of sexual misconduct. In the end, the public will have the last word anyway, slice this public relations expert.

Martine St-Victor notes, however, that Quebecers are much more inclined to forgive these stars today than three years ago, when stories of allegations of sexual misconduct hit the headlines. “Three years ago, we were exposed to a reality that we did not know. For people who didn’t come from an artistic background, it was a shock. But today, with hindsight, we are perhaps more open to forgive. Especially when we see that several of these personalities have embarked on a journey, ”she observes.

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