Australian indie rockers Sticky Fingers have withdrawn from the upcoming ‘This That’ festival following continued pushback against allegations of racist and violent behaviour.
In a lengthy statement released yesterday by the festival organisers, the band agreed that ‘their inclusion began to impact negatively on the other artists performing’ and ‘that it would be best if they refrained from performing’ at the festival in November. Making the decision ‘was not taken lightly’, with the event’s ‘top priority… the safety and well-being of both its artists and attendees’.
In their statement released yesterday, Sticky Fingers called out ‘the perpetrated negativity from a small pocket of the music industry’, which it claimed ‘needs to be quarantined so it doesn’t affect other innocent parties’.
Following the cancellation, This That are offering full refunds for fans. This form must be filled in before 5pm on Thursday 5th July.
Sticky Fingers have been embroiled in a number of controversies in the past 2 years. Indigenous Australian artist Thelma Plum alleged that band’s frontman, Dylan Frost, threatened and intimidated her at a Sydney pub back in December 2016. During the incident, in which Plum had ‘honestly never felt so unsafe in [her] life’, Frost swore and spat at the singer and chased after her Uber. In another incident in July that year, Frost was accused of racial abuse against a local indigenous rock band, Dispossessed, at a Sydney venue. The band’s lead guitarist, Birrugan Dunn-Velasco, complained in a Facebook post that he is ‘not a monkey to play on command’ and that the group ‘walked off stage when the lead singer of Sticky Fingers among many others began grossly shirt fronting us…’
This That’s decision to book the band, best known for their singles ‘Australia Street‘ and ‘How To Fly‘, was met with outcry. After the June 26 announcement, critics took to social media. Another performer at the festival, dance musician Godlands, said she found it ‘extremely difficult to be on the same bill’ as a ‘woman and [an] artist’. Led by LGBT activist Sally Rugg and artists like Miss Blands and Camp Cope, the backlash became more organised, with some calling for boycotts.
Meanwhile, the festival is set to go ahead on 3rd November, with appearances from artists like Amy Shark, Boo Seeka, Thandi Phoenix and The Rubens.