Jackmaster is back… sort of. After admitting to sexually assaulting and harassing staff members at Love Saves The Day festival in May 2018 (as people watched without doing anything), Jackmaster was soundly criticized for his actions by fans and those around the business. As the staffer explained, "it took far too long for anybody to step in and try to take control of Jack or intervene in the slightest. People just stood by like it was OK behavior." The self-proclaimed feminist first admitted his wrong doing in a vague post in May, only for the details to come out in August, along with a detailed explanation of drug abuse and his actions. To his credit, he was contrite and employees said he was willing to turn himself into the police if need be.
However, since that second statement, he has not said anything online or publicly. No interviews or statements have been issued. Jackmaster hasn’t released any music, either by his own decision or no labels are willing to take on that first landmine release.
However, that has not stopped him from working.
Jackmaster’s last gig in 2018 was Circoloco on August 27, two weeks after his apology to the festival. A slew of gigs were canceled in the UK after news came out of his behavior, but some festivals like Sonus still kept him on the lineup. He was removed from Friendship at the end of 2018, potentially in response to my inquiries.
But in later half of 2019, his career is on the ascendency. According to Resident Advisor listings (corroborated on individual venue websites), he had his first gig of 2019 at RXR in Rome on July 6. Looking at the Facebook event, people were asking for list +8 o the discussion board, so it isn’t clear what type of club this is. He would then go on to play Circoloco at DC-10 in Ibiza four times: August 12, September 2, September 9 and September 30.
In that time, he also played in Germany, Scotland twice, first for the Fringe Closing party, Lebanon, Switzerland and Italy again.
He has a packed schedule of gigs over the next week, with a show in Jakarta on the 25th, Hong Kong the 26th, Singapore the 27th and Florence on Halloween.
The question comes down to when has he “atoned” enough to be back in the good graces of fans and the industry. I don’t have that answer, but there are a few things to consider. In his apology, he makes it seem as though he was trying to make changes in life to become a better person. Did this mean therapy and rehabilitation? We don’t know since there haven’t been any public statements. These tour dates feel like they are being snuck in without the general populous noticing. There have been no posts on his socials in over a year and it isn’t certain there is a PR team even pushing these dates. His press email is the same as his management. There hasn’t been a concerted effort to hide these gig, but also not the normal promotion you expect from someone hoping to get people to their shows.
Without a wider understanding of his path to redemption, it is hard to know what has changed in his life. One can take words from a year ago on face value and accept that he was changing and has continued to change. Or you can be pessimistic that he made much change at all. Maybe promoters and fellow DJs have seen a new Jackmaster or it is business as usual with fake feminism and continued abuse.