Sebastian’s post follows the launch of the #VaxTheNation campaign, which is supported by 225+ Australian performers, including Gordi, Camp Cope, Frenzal Rhomb, WAAX, Amyl and the Sniffers, Alice Skye and Peking Duk. The campaign, which launched yesterday, aims to get Australian punters vaccinated against COVID-19 and “stop the interruptions”.
#VaxTheNation kicked off with a national TV ad campaign that’s soundtracked by Powderfinger’s ‘My Happiness’. The campaign seeks to highlight how, over the last 18 months, the live music and entertainment sector has had thousands of performances disrupted, postponed or cancelled and seen tens of thousands of workers stood down as a result.
But Sebastian is wary of endorsing the campaign given its explicit public health messaging. “Whilst I want things to get going again, it’s not my role to communicate in the way that post was communicating,” Sebastian said.
“I would never, ever tell people what to do when it comes to their personal health choices. I’m very sensitive of it, not only on a public level, but even in my personal life with people who have circumstances that they have to consider when making these choices.
“So I just want to say I’m really sorry. It was not a post that communicated with love or compassion, which I feel is what’s needed when it comes to addressing things like vaccinations.”
In response to the video, Ben Lee wrote on Twitter, “To be honest, this is actually a really sad example of what happens when your career is dependent on trying to be all things to all people.” Briggs, meanwhile, had this to say: “Man, any musicians apologising for trying to get back to work by advocating for a safer audience is self defeating. Unpack your spine ya goofballs.”
In response, organisers of the #VAXTHENATION campaign have issued the following statement:
We all miss our loved ones – our friends, our family, and being able to gather again. We all want to get back to the magic of live events. #VAXTHENATION is not a political campaign tied to any Government, and we welcome open conversation. The campaign is self-funded by the industry and the position of the LIVE Alliance (Live Industry Venues and Entertainment Alliance) is that high vaccination rates are the only way to get the show back on the road. We are encouraging people to seek professional health advice and make an informed choice. Head to our website vaxthenation.com.au/resources to read more about informed consent. – #VAXTHENATION