UPDATE 12/04/17: The ANU Union has gone against the promoter of its controversial ‘Finale’ show, and is calling for acts of all genders to join the lineup.
ORIGINAL STORY: Brisbane rockers Regurgitator have cancelled their headline appearance at a show for the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, as its controversial promoter continues to defend a “gross” comment he made after being questioned about the concert’s all-male lineup.
Promoter Garry Peadon’s comment in response to criticism of his ‘ANU Finale’ lineup — “Why do I have too [sic] even think about this shit?” — was shared with Regurgitator by a fan on Facebook today, to which the group replied, “Thanks for making us aware of this. We have been in contact with the organiser.”
Hours later, the band, who often perform with one or two female backing members, returned to tell fans, “REGURGITATOR will no longer be performing at the ANU FINALE.”
In a statement to Music Feeds, Regurgitator say, “Given our position on matters of gender equality, social justice and equal opportunity for all, we have decided we can not be involved with the upcoming ANU FINALE event.
“Based on the subsequent responses from the organisers to criticism about the heavy gender bias of the lineup and how this has aggravated rather than managed to accommodate the concerns posed online by people in Canberra we have had to cancel our upcoming involvement in this ANU BAR finale lineup. Apologies to any inconvenienced by this decision.
“Music is not about gender but we can not ignore gender in regard to the ongoing practices of music as an industry.”
Read the band’s full statement, below.
Canberra band Slow Turismo have also pulled out of the show.
Peadon has confirmed to Music Feeds that the ANU Finale show will still go ahead, and no other acts will be booked to help fill Regurgitator’s place, because the “lineup is quite strong as it is”.
Meanwhile, Peadon tells ABC Radio Canberra that he doesn’t understand why people are annoyed at the lack of female acts on his lineup, nor why they disliked the initial response he posted to Facebook.
“I’ve never heard of ‘non-binary’ before,” Peadon says.
“When I book an act, I don’t sit down and think about the genre. The only genre I think about is, ‘Is it punk? Is it rock?’ I don’t sit there and go, ‘I need to put a female band on.’
“There are female bands out there that have caught my interest, but it’s not because they’re female, it’s because their music’s good.”
Peadon says the fact that people have called him out about his all-male lineup is “a bit ridiculous”.
“Music is about personal taste and it’s about what you like,” he says. “This is my show. I hired the venue, I’m putting the gig on and I’m paying for the artists. If somebody else out there wants to do something, nothing’s stopping them from booking ANU and putting on what you like.
“I’m not changing the lineup. I did, when I was booking the acts, ask a few local female acts to be on the bill. Not because they were female and it never entered my mind.
“If I’m going to cop backlash over bringing acts to Canberra and paying out of my own pocket for most of the gigs that I do, then I’d prefer not to do them, I’ve got better things to do.”
Peadon’s initial comment came after a punter posted to the ANU Bar Finale Facebook event page, questioning the lack of “women and non-binary performers on the lineup”, to which Peadon replied, “Why do I have too [sic] even think about this shit? What the fuck is a non binary?”
The ANU Bar Finale show is set to take place on 17th June, and will feature acts like Liquid, Tonk, Citizen Kay, Casual Projects and Super Best Friends.
Given our position on matters of gender equality, social justice and equal opportunity for all, we have decided we can not be involved with the upcoming ANU FINALE event. Based on the subsequent responses from the organisers to criticism about the heavy gender bias of the lineup and how this has aggravated rather than managed to accommodate the concerns posed online by people in Canberra we have had to cancel our upcoming involvement in this ANU BAR finale lineup. Apologies to any inconvenienced by this decision.
Music is not about gender but we can not ignore gender in regard to the ongoing practices of music as an industry.
Not excusing ourselves, but not knowing the majority of the bands selected we had no idea of the heavy gender bias of the lineup. We have friends who identify as non-binary or non-gender specific along with many from the LGBTQI+ community. We very much support mixed demographic scenarios where possible covering diversity in gender, sexuality, race etc. Like most we are not without our own flaws in managing such concerns but we are aware of how important this is, so this matter very much concerns us as a group.
Being presented under the auspices of the ANU we also feel the lineup has a need to reflect the typical charter of a university in regard to diversity and inclusiveness. In stating these issues and the comments made online from the organisers we have decided to withdraw from this event as their public position runs against all we support.
Given the state of society, environment and climate we hope upcoming generations across the world take time and effort to consider the realities of injustice right across the board and manifest more inclusive attitudes and overall awareness to make a stand against archaic and non-progressive approaches that we are currently laden with, and in turn to help make the world a better place for all.