Brisbane rapper and Laneway Festival 2018 artist Sian Vandermuelen AKA. Miss Blanks has revealed that she expressed her concerns about Kirin J Callinan with organisers before he was removed from the festival lineup.
Callinan confirmed he would no longer be playing but the festival has yet to issue a statement as to why.
Blanks has now revealed that she had conversations with organisers prior to his removal.
“They definitely took that on board, and they had internal conversations besides the ones done with me, and it’s led to the decision of Kirin being kicked off the lineup, which is great,” she said.
She expressed numerous issues with Callinan’s actions, including a planned epileptic fit during a festival set and the use of blackface in his Bravado album booklet, but said, “exposing himself at the ARIAs was just the icing on the cake really.”
Callinan caused controversy when he flashed his penis on the ARIA red carpet last year.
“This kind of behaviour isn’t okay, it shouldn’t be tolerated, and you shouldn’t be rewarded with a festival if you’re going to act like this,” Blanks told Hack.
She further said that Laneway is, “a progressive festival.”
“For me to be the first trans woman of colour in a festival that’s been running for ten years, to be touring it nationally in all cities, it’s important to me that there’s safety, it’s important to my community that it’s safe.”
Another Laneway artist has also spoken out with triple j Unearthed winner Angie McMahon saying she’s, “not surprised,” by his removal.
“I think it’s a pretty understandable move for festival organisers to take off somebody who is a bit of a risk in terms of offending a lot of people,” she said.
McMahon will play Laneway Festival in Melbourne while Blanks will tour the country with the festival off the back of her debut EP Diary Of A Thotaholic.
RE: Kirin J Callinan being removed from Laneway Festival 2018. – Today at 5:30pm, I’ll be on @triplejhack expressing my views on the removal of Kirin J Callinan from the Laneway Festival 2018 lineup. I believe in the importance of a process of accountability which is why I applaud the organisers of Laneway’s decision to remove Kirin J Callinan from the festival lineup. His long and recent history of reckless and insensitive actions reinforces an entitlement which permits Kirin and others like him to dismiss valid issues, and normalises racism, ableism and sexual assault. Amidst the ‘me too’ discussions, it’s important to see preventative actions as well as support systems. I feel good knowing that Laneway Festival are working hard with their artists, including myself, to create a more inclusive and safe space for its talent, staff, and patrons, as well as the introduction of the 1800 Laneway program.