King Gizzard Cancel Bluesfest Appearance In Protest Against Sticky Fingers Booking
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have canceled their appearance at Bluesfest Byron Bay after the festival announced they had booked the Australian rock group Sticky Fingers in their most recent lineup addition. “As a band and as human beings, we stand against misogyny, racism, transphobia, and violence,” they wrote in a statement. “Surprised and saddened to see Bluesfest commit to presenting content that is in complete opposition to these values.”
“Given this decision by the festival, we have decided to cancel our appearance at Bluesfest,” the statement continued. “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 these moments.”
Sticky Fingers went on hiatus in 2016 after leader Dylan Frost was accused of threatening the Indigenous musician Thelma Plum. After an apology, the band reformed in 2018 and Frost, in an interview, explained his past situation by saying “shit happens, man” and “boys will be boys.” Around the same time, he was allegedly ejected from a pub after trying to fight a transgender woman. In 2019, Frost and Sticky Fingers bassist Paddy Cornwall fought outside a club; Cornwall was later sentenced to 18 months of prison served in the community.
In 2018, shortly after regrouping following their hiatus, they withdrew from a festival in Newcastle following criticism.
Peter Noble, the director of Bluesfest Byron Bay, defended the booking in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald. “Everybody has a right to be forgiven and to show who they can be … and this man is attempting to do that, so that’s why he’s on Bluesfest,” Noble said. “Our community is one of inclusiveness … and this man deserves an opportunity. Give him a chance. That’s what I’m trying to do.”