Julian Assange will speak at the 2011 Splendour In The Grass Festival. This will be the first time the Wikileak’s founder has ever spoken at a music festival. Splendour announced the news today and revealed that Assange will be part of a Splendour Forum discussion panel that lifts the lid on the powers struggling for control of the internet – and what they don’t want you to know. Assange will speak via a pre-recorded video message from his house arrest in Britain.
From the SITG website:
SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS is proud to present JULIAN ASSANGE as part of a SPLENDOUR FORUM discussion panel that lifts the lid on the powers struggling for control of the internet – and what they don’t want you to know.
In his first-ever public address at a rock music festival, the Australian WikiLeaks editor-in-chief and winner of multiple human rights and international journalism awards will pre-record an address to the SPLENDOUR FORUM audience as part of a panel on Friday July 29.
The controversial online publisher of explosive classified material, widely credited with triggering this year’s “Arab Spring” uprisings, will speak directly to Splendour punters about the truth behind WikiLeaks, his arrest and what it all means for young people in Australia and around the world in a video statement to be recorded just before next week’s three-day music and arts festival.
Mr Assange is currently being detained under house arrest without charge in the UK, awaiting a court’s decision on a bid by Swedish authorities to question him on allegations of sexual assault.
Mr Assange’s mother Christine, who will headline the panel of experts including his Australian lawyer Grace Morgan, his long-time colleague and co-author Dr Suelette Dreyfus, leading IT security analyst and podcaster Patrick Gray and ABCTV’S Hungry Beast presenters and tech-heads Marc Fennell and Nick Hayden, said powerful forces had gone to great lengths to silence her crusading son and cripple his organisation’s publishing efforts.
“SPLENDOUR FORUM is bringing together some of the people in Australia who are closest to Julian and who are aware of what’s going on behind the scenes,” Mrs Assange said.
“This is a unique opportunity to hear directly from these people the stories the mainstream media has suppressed and the things they don’t want you to know.”
The panel discussion, to be moderated by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow, is called Big Brother v Little Brother: From Government and Big Business to WikiLeaks and Anonymous, Who Really Controls Our Online Secrets? The panel takes place at midday on Friday 29 July.
SPLENDOUR FORUM is Splendour In The Grass’ live discussion program, held in its own tent on the festival site with seating for about 500.
The program runs 10am-4pm each day featuring a keynote address, debates, Q&A sessions, discussion panels on topics of social, cultural and political interest, interviews with artists and light-hearted literary sessions. Last year’s inaugural Forum was, as far as we know, one of the first discussion programs of its kind at a rock music festival and received critical acclaim. All of the well-attended sessions revealed a genuine appetite for dialogue and debate about contemporary issues among festival-goers.
“Splendour In The Grass is honoured to have both Julian Assange and his mother Christine Assange appear at SPLENDOUR FORUM and we look forward to hearing their views on these important issues,” said Splendour In the Grass co-promoter Jessica Ducrou.