A performer has hit out after saying she was told to ‘cover up’ before taking the stage at a real ale and cider festival.
Anne-Marie Thomson, 36, is part of the Withernsea Pirate Crew, a performing troupe who raise funds so they can put on a ‘pirate festival’ in Hull.
But, as they were about to perform at the popular festival held in Hull Minster last weekend, she says she was told by a member of The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) society, who organise the event, she had to ‘cover up’.
Anne-Marie Thomson, 36, is part of the Withernsea Pirate Crew, a performing troupe who raise funds so they can put on a ‘pirate festival’ in Hull
She said: ‘We were invited to perform there on Friday night and we got there, went past security and got our wristbands without any problems but when we got in a man from Camra came over and just said, “you have to cover up”.
‘I wasn’t even on the same wavelength so I said, “what?” and he pointed and said it again. Someone said, “I think he means your top”.’
Ms Thomson, who has worked with the Withernsea Pirates for 18 months, said she was ‘mortified’ about the exchange.
She said: ‘I couldn’t believe it, it’s archaic and it wasn’t that bad. I’ve worn the outfit to lots of other events and I’ve never been asked to cover up before.
‘It wasn’t inappropriate, I didn’t see any children there or anything.
‘I was wearing jeans with the top too. When I’ve been playing a pirate or a wench before I’ve sometimes worn shorts and nothing has ever been said.
‘It’s a costume, not something I wear everyday walking down the street. I was mortified. He said it out loud in front of everyone.’
Ms Thomson said she felt ‘belittled’ by the comment and refused to perform.
She was soon followed by the rest of the troupe, who left the event soon after.
A spokesman for Hull and East Yorkshire Camra, said: ‘Camra’s policy is equality. We don’t use any sort of the ‘buxom barmaid’ costumes and think we have grown up as an organisation and like to promote appropriate clothing’
She said: ‘It had nothing to do with the church, no one from there said anything. I’ve performed all across the country and in Europe with the Pirates and I’ve never had anything like that.’
The company put on dancing, singing and acting performances to raise funds to put on a festival based on a maritime and seafaring theme in Withernsea. The festival has been running for five years.
Ms Thomson said: ‘We’ve never had a reception like that no matter whereI’ve have been, everyone loves us. It is demoralising and upsetting. I’ve tried to contact the team at Camra but have heard nothing yet.’
A spokesman for Hull and East Yorkshire Camra, said: ‘Camra’s policy is equality. We don’t use any sort of the “buxom barmaid” costumes and think we have grown up as an organisation and like to promote appropriate clothing.
‘The festival is held in a church and you wouldn’t go into a church dressed inappropriately. It makes sense if it is part of the act but you would think someone would mention the event was being held in a church.’
A spokesman for Hull Minster said: ‘We support Camra’s decision and their policy. The lady was asked to cover up so not to offend the demographic of people at the event at the time.’