Band of dumb idiots Sticky Fingers has been removed from the lineup of Newcastle festival THIS THAT this afternoon, following backlash about their inclusion.
The group and festival organisers issued statements earlier this afternoon addressing the band’s place on the bill, asserting it was a mutual decision for the group to not perform at the event, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, November 3rd.
Firstly, THIS THAT festival organisers claimed that the decision to book Sticky Fingers in the first place was “not taken lightly” and that there were “many serious and complex issues to consider,” which makes the decision to go ahead and book them anyway all the more unbelievable.
Regardless, the festival’s statement reads thusly:
After long discussions, THIS THAT and Sticky Fingers have decided the band will no longer be performing at THIS THAT on Saturday 3rd November.
Sticky Fingers agreed with THIS THAT from the start that if their inclusion began to impact negatively on the other artists performing and our Newcastle and wider communities that it would be best if they refrain from performing. That’s the decision we have both taken today.
Our decision to include Sticky Fingers on the 2018 lineup was not taken lightly as there were many serious and complex issues to consider from several perspectives, and we realised there would be debate about their suitability to be included.
While looking at all these issues in totality we made the decision to include them while also monitoring sentiment from the time of the booking.
THIS THAT’s top priority is the safety and well-being of both its artists and attendees and the festival team do not condone abuse of any kind.
THIS THAT is proud of providing a positive platform for Australian and International artists to share the stage, we take our role in the community very seriously and to those who have been upset by the inclusion of Sticky Fingers, we’re truly sorry.
The festival is offering refunds for ticket holders aggrieved by today’s decision, which can be accessed via this link.
Conversely, Sticky Fingers continue to dance around the criticisms levelled at them, painting a distinctly woe-is-us look and asserting it’s a small pocket of the music industry out to get them (it’s not) and, even further, intimating that alcohol abuse played a contributing factor in the many allegations held against them.
We are disappointed to announce that we have decided to withdraw from performing at THIS THAT festival this November. We would like to thank the event for having us on the bill along with such an impressive line-up, but we have decided that the perpetrated negativity from a small pocket of the music industry that has been aimed at us through this period needs to be quarantined so it doesn’t affect other innocent parties- be they the other artists on the bill, THIS THAT festival itself, or the fans who wanted to see us play.
The band has been on tour overseas the past month, and it pains us to return home to fellow artists on the the line-up being bullied and dragged through the mud for no fault of their own. We are not comfortable with this.
We have had to address allegations against the band multiple times now and there seems to be no means to an end. We have taken steps to positive change and continue to do so. Earlier this year we recorded an album entirely sober, and just two days ago completed a sold out world tour – all shows entirely sober. Along with this; there has been rehab and continued therapy.
It is very apparent that the Australian music media and some people in the music industry do not care about any of this, let alone us being open about mental health issues with members in the band. There has been nothing in fact, other than one sided stories against us. Fabricated purely for the sakes of clicks & attention.
It should be noted that members of the band has been accused of racism, sexism, transphobia, violence, and abuse. They have released multiple statements addressing the allegations, including a Triple J Hack interview where singer Dylan Frost wrote off any past actions as “boys will be boys” and “shit happens, man.”
As late as this past weekend, an anonymous Twitter account many users attributed to drummer Beaker Best (but which is almost definitely not really him, which is what we have to write here in case they decide to lawyer up yet again) appeared, retweeting posts made by right-wing extremist, Nazi sympathiser, and man-who-once-stalked-and-set-fire-to-an-ex-girlfriend’s-new-partner’s-house Blair Cottrell, as well as harassing female and Indigenous artists and media personalities.
Highlights from the Twitter account used by the drummer from Sticky Fingers: pestering Nayuka Gorrie about race, retweeting right-wing thug Blair Cotrell’s rants against @clementine_ford and insulting an all-female band, Camp Cope.
— Fiona Cootz (@ficootz) June 28, 2018
The account has been repeatedly suspended by Twitter.
In one writer’s opinion: An Australian music industry that continues complicit support of alleged abusers by remaining silent, refusing to condemn, or outwardly allowing them to continue accessing the stage that they have abused time and time again is a feckless, weak-willed music industry that cannot champion itself as one of equality, ever.