Well, well, well: Byron Bay Bluesfest has finally revoked its public and unabashed support for probbo band Sticky Fingers after musicians were dropping from its lineup like flies.
“We are sad to announce that Bluesfest has decided that Sticky Fingers is to step off the Bluesfest 2023 line-up,” a statement from the festival reads.
“Bluesfest cannot, sadly, continue to support Sticky Fingers by having them play our 2023 edition, and we apologise to those artists, sponsors and any others we involved in this matter through our mistaken belief that forgiveness and redemption are the rock on which society is built.”
Oh for fuck’s sake, are we really going down the whole “we’re sorry we thought you guys would be reasonable” road?
“The narrative that [Sticky Fingers] continues to deserve to be cancelled, as well as anyone who publicly supports them, is difficult to accept, wherein a portion of society and media passes eternal judgement toward those, in this case, a diagnosed mentally ill person whom we feel doesn’t deserve the continued public scrutiny in a manner whereby they feel included in society,” the non-apology continues.
“Sticky Fingers has done so many good deeds that have never been reported, including building and funding recording studios and music education programs in disadvantaged regional communities.
“We will now move on, put this behind us and continue to plan and present our best-ever edition of Bluesfest… proudly.”
Side note, but can we acknowledge that someone being mentally ill does not necessarily negate any harm they’ve done to others? And if anything, the notion that mentally ill people are just hurtful because they’re mentally ill, or that they can’t be held responsible for their actions, further stigmatises mental illness?
The cursed Bluesfest statement then directs people to a “carefully researched” article in The Australian which “examines the facts, unlike a lot of the current published material.”
I have never read a saltier, more disingenuous statement in my life. Just say you’re facing the consequences of your own actions and go!
ICYMI, Bluesfest copped a heap of backlash after it revealed Sticky Fingers would be playing in 2023 alongside acts like Sampa the Great and a “heartfelt tribute” to Archie Roach.
A commenter on Instagram asked if the Archie Roach foundation was aware Sticky Fingers would be announced alongside their tribute performance for the late Gunditjmara and Bundjalung elder and singer, especially given the fact that frontman Dylan Frost was accused of physically threatening Gamilaraay singer Thelma Plum.
Bluesfest defended its decision to book Sticky Fingers despite all of the allegations against them not once, not twice, but three times despite acts like Sampa the Great, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and a bunch of other artists dropping out of the lineup in protest.
It looks like the protests worked, because Bluesfest appears to have given in — but clearly not because they actually saw the light.
I wonder if this half-hearted attempt at placating acts and sponsors will actually work, because it’s obvious to anyone who reads it that the festival is not actually backtracking on its support for Sticky Fingers — it’s just throwing a tanty that it’s been called out.