On Friday night, Polaris played a show in Sydney at the Enmore Theatre, which sits next door to the Secret Garden bar, which regularly hosts queer-friendly events.
According to Sydney musician and community member Brendan Maclean, punters at the show walked to the bar, spitting on drag queens and calling them “disgusting creatures.”
“Not your fault, but thought you outta know,” wrote Maclean to the band on Twitter. “So upsetting, a lot of really shaken young queer people.”
Polaris have since slammed the behaviour, which occurred over the Sydney Mardi Gras weekend, first replying to Maclean, saying, “This is so awful and upsetting to hear. We’ve always taken pride in having a fanbase that’s mostly forward thinking, diverse and loving, but sadly we don’t get to choose who comes to our shows. Please understand that these people do not represent us in any way.”
The band went on to release a longer statement on Twitter, in which they call the behaviour “abhorrent” and make it clear that fans who behave that way are not welcome at their shows.
“If you can’t treat people who are different to yourself with love and respect then sit yourself down and rethink yourself. On Mardi Gras weekend of all times, this is incredibly disappointing,” wrote the band.
“We have nothing but love for the queer community and we know (or at least hope) that the majority of our fans stand with us. This does not represent us.”
“The heavy scene has grown up so much in recent years and become for the most part a very inclusive place, which we’re very proud to see.”
See the full statement via Twitter below.
(2/) – then sit yourself down and rethink yourself. On Mardi Gras weekend of all times, this is incredibly disappointing. We have nothing but love for the queer community and we know (or at least hope) that the majority of our fans stand with us. This does not represent us.
— P O L A R I S (@PolarisAus) February 28, 2020
(4/) ..a timely reminder that there’s still a lot of growing to be done & a reminder of why events like Syd Mardi Gras are so important.
Wear your colours, wear your glitter and don’t let anyone take this weekend from you. Wishing you all a safe and happy mardi gras 🏳️🌈
— P O L A R I S (@PolarisAus) February 29, 2020
Respect. This is how you respond. No defensiveness or knee-jerk reactions. A band that listened to the issue and took action. That is genuine progress. https://t.co/bQUUQKJM4y
— Brendan Maclean (@macleanbrendan) February 29, 2020