King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard withdraw from Bluesfest

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard withdraw from Bluesfest

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have cancelled their appearance at Easter music festival Bluesfest, just days after organisers added controversial band Sticky Fingers to the line-up.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have withdrawn from the upcoming Bluesfest at Byron BayCredit:Jason Galea

In a social media post on Twitter on Monday, King Gizzard announced they were pulling out of Bluesfest. It comes less than a week after Bluesfest director Peter Noble defended his decision to add Sticky Fingers, fronted by Dylan Frost, to the festival.

“As a band and as human beings, we stand against misogyny, racism, transphobia, and violence. Surprised and saddened to see Bluesfest commit to presenting content that is in complete opposition to these values,” King Gizzard posted on Twitter.

“Given this decision by the festival, we have decided to cancel our appearance at Bluesfest. We are deeply disappointed to be in this position but sometimes you need to be willing to make sacrifices to stand up for your values. This is, unfortunately, one of those moments.”

Frost made headlines for a number of incidents in the past few years, including 2016 when he was accused of being physically threatening towards Indigenous musician Thelma Plum.

He later made a statement on social media saying he was “ashamed” he had made a woman feel unsafe and “violence against women is never OK”.

Last Wednesday, Noble told this masthead “everybody has a right to be forgiven and to show who they can be … and this man is attempting to do that, so that’s why he’s on Bluesfest.

“This man deserves an opportunity. Give him a chance. That’s what I’m trying to do,” Noble said.

The initial announcement that Sticky Fingers had been added to the line-up was met with criticism from some in the music industry, including artists Jaguar Jonze and Sarah Thompson from Camp Cope – both of whom have repeatedly spoken out about how difficult the Australian music scene can be for women and people from minority backgrounds.

Jonze said she was “disgusted and sickened” to see the way the group had been glamorised, and Thompson called Bluesfest “the most tone-deaf promoters in the country”.

Noble responded to those criticisms, saying people he’d spoken to were “over the moon” about the decision to add Sticky Fingers, and Frost, to the Bluesfest line-up.

“I’m aware the singer is a diagnosed bipolar schizophrenic, and I am aware that, whatever happened in 2016, he’s had years of no incidents while he’s been managing his condition,” Noble said.

“At what point are we going to show compassion and forgiveness through his efforts at growth? When do we forgive people with a mental health issue at attempting to move forward in life?”

Bluesfest has been contacted for comment.

More to come.

A cultural guide to going out and loving your city. Sign up to our Culture Fix newsletter here.

Most Viewed in Culture

From our partners

Source: Read Full Article