Byron Bay Bluesfest has responded to the heap of backlash it’s copped after it revealed Sticky Fingers would be playing in 2023 alongside acts like Sampa the Great and a “heartfelt tribute” to Archie Roach.
After posting the announcement to Instagram, one commenter asked if the Archie Roach foundation were 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 doubled down on its decision to book Sticky Fingers despite all of the allegations against them with a comment on Instagram.
“The incident was in 2016,” the festival wrote via its official account.
“The singer from the band had an incident for which he apologised.
“Isn’t it time to forgive and let him get on with his life?”
In an official statement made alongside the announcement, Bluesfest festival director Peter Noble described Sticky Fingers as the “bad boys” of Australian music, which for a multitude of obvious reasons is absolutely not what we should be calling them.
“Sticky Fingers, the bad boys of Australian music, currently on their sell-out UK Tour, will be playing one of their all-too-rare shows in Australia,” he wrote.
“They have only played a handful in the last five years, and Bluesfest is happy to welcome them back.”
I wonder why they’ve only played a handful of shows, Peter.
Disgusting and sickening to see abusive and violent behaviour glamorised into a bad boy image https://t.co/MTx7lsm37B— JAGUAR JONZE (@JaguarJonze) February 14, 2023
Just to refresh your memory here are some of the allegations made against Sticky Fingers:
- In 2016 Thelma Plum accused frontman Dylan Frost of being physically threatening and of a history of “violence towards women”.
- In 2016 the band denied allegations that Dylan Frost yelled out racist comments while Indigenous band Dispossessed was playing a show.
- In 2018 Dylan Frost was called out for responding to a question about the allegations made against him with the line “boys will be boys” and “shit happens, man” on triple j’s Hack.
- In 2018, Dylan Frost was accused of “accosting” a transgender woman and trying to start a physical fight. Shortly after the band posted an Instagram pic with the caption: “To all the haters; we are better than you. NEVER FORGET.”
- In 2021 Frost entered rehab and bandmate Paddy Cornwall was sentenced to prison for 18 months after a physical altercation.
So yeah, maybe it’s not the best idea to be putting them on a festival lineup and acting like everything is fine and dandy.
PEDESTRIAN.TV has reached out to Bluesfest for comment.
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