Bluesfest suffers another blow with Sampa The Great cancelling

Two-time Australian Music Prize winner Sampa The Great has pulled out of April’s Bluesfest, two days after King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard cancelled their performance at the festival.

The annual Easter event has become mired in controversy since festival director Peter Noble last week revealed Sydney band Sticky Fingers were among recent additions to the line-up.

Award-winning artist Sampa The GreatCredit:Aart Verrips

Additions to the festival line-up, including Sticky Fingers, a tribute to Archie Roach, Fools (from Massachusetts), and Gold Coast solo artist Jerome Williams were announced last Wednesday, along with Sampa The Great.

In a statement provided to Double J, Sampa The Great’s representatives said the artist “started contact with Bluesfest, to inform them of our standpoint within half an hour of receiving the embargoed press release and seeing the remainder of the line-up.

“We then delivered final confirmation to Bluesfest at 7:36pm AEDT on Tuesday 14 February that Sampa was coming off the line-up, in the hopes they would remove her from all materials before they announced the following day,” the statement said.

On Tuesday afternoon, Noble echoed comments he made last Wednesday, when he said Sticky Fingers vocalist Dylan Frost “deserves an opportunity” after a number of incidents that led to the band’s hiatus in 2017.

“Over the years, Bluesfest has been the promoter of music festivals which allowed diverse artists to exercise their freedom of artistic expression and have afforded the Australian public access to their works,” Noble said on Tuesday.

“In the course of doing so, Bluesfest has been proud to give prominence to Indigenous artists and to promote diversity in the music industry.”

After Bluesfest was last week criticised by some in the music industry, including Jaguar Jonze and Camp Cope drummer Sarah Thompson, who have both repeatedly spoken out about how difficult the Australian music scene can be for women and people from minority backgrounds, King Gizzard announced on Monday they had pulled out of Bluesfest.

“Given this decision by the festival, we have decided to cancel our appearance at Bluesfest,” King Gizzard posted on social media.

“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.”

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