The lineup was long and the protestors few yet highly visible. Canadian pop band Hedley came to Sudbury on Wednesday night to put on a show for some 2,100 fans.
Ranging in age from pre-teens to older adults, some fans brought signs and wore T-shirts to express their excitement about the arrival of the Juno-winning musicians in Nickel City.
"I've seen them twice VIP and I've seen them four times just regular. Their music has gotten me literally through ups and downs, highs and lows in my life," said Amelia Doucette, from Sudbury. "Tonight they're going to rock it -- just like they always do."
The allegations made by a Toronto woman and an Ottawa woman against Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard in February didn't phase his fans.
"I've been a fan since I was 10 years old. I guess I grew up on him, my mom is a huge fan, a lot of my friends are huge fans," said Kalyna Fisher.
Asked what she expected from the concert, Kalyna said: "Same as usual, probably just less people and some more protesting than usual."
As the number of ticket holders gathered at Sudbury Arena slowly increased, a small group of demonstrators remained unmoved.
"She Matters" founder Jacqueline Villeneuve wishes the band had skipped town. Standing with about 40 demonstrators at a peaceful protest before the concert, Villeneuve said it's important for people to show support to survivors.
"As a survivor-led community, we understand the impact of sexual assault and we felt that we couldn't stay silent on this issue," Villeneuve said. "Collectively, our She Matters community joined together and invited the public to join us as well in peaceful demonstration to show support for survivors of sexual violence both in our community and across our country."
As of Tuesday, a representative of Greater Sudbury said about 200 tickets were refunded.