king gizzard
Photo by Andrew Benge/Redferns

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Cancel Bluesfest Performance

Melbourne psych outfit King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have pulled out of their upcoming appearance at Bluesfest. In a short statement released on Twitter on Monday, 20th February, the band wrote that they are firmly against misogyny, racism, transphobia, and violence – and that Bluesfest had chosen to present content that “is in complete opposition to these values”.

The move comes a few days after Bluesfest released their sixth artist announcement, which included the controversial band Sticky Fingers.

King Gizzard “Deeply Disappointed” To Cancel Set

There was a significant backlash to the addition of Sticky Fingers, with artist and activist Jaguar Jonze labelling it “disgusting and sickening”. Sticky Fingers have a history of alleged incidents of racist, sexist, and transphobic conduct. 

Bluesfest director Peter Noble, who described Sticky Fingers as “bad boys” in a press release, defended the decision in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald. “At what point are we going to show compassion and forgiveness through his efforts at growth?” he told the paper. “When do we forgive people with a mental health issue at attempting to move forward in life?”

King Gizzard didn’t refer to Sticky Fingers by name in their statement. “Given this decision by the festival,” King Gizzard wrote. “We have decided to cancel our appearance at Bluesfest.”

They added: “Sometimes you need to be willing to make sacrifices to stand up for your values. This is, unfortunately, one of those moments.”

At the time of writing Bluesfest had not publicly responded to King Gizzard’s statement.

Further Reading

Bluesfest Director Peter Noble Defends Booking Sticky Fingers for 2023 Event

Sampa the Great, Sticky Fingers and More Artists Added to Bluesfest 2023 Lineup

A Guide to Every Australian Music Festival Happening in 2023

Must Read