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”.
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.