ORIGINAL STORY: An Australian artist who is scheduled to perform at Newcastle’s This That festival in November has spoken out, after event organisers were criticised for booking controversial Sydney band Sticky Fingers on their 2018 lineup.
Australian dance artist Godlands (real name Annabel Hartlett) has issued a statement explaining that she finds it “extremely difficult” to be on the same bill as the band, who have faced allegations of racism and violence in the past, and whose bassist threatened Indigenous musician Thelma Plum last month.
“I’m gonna be real for a sec… there is an act that is apart of this festival that I do not agree with,” says Hartlett.
“I didn’t know until last minute, like many of the other acts, that they were a part of the lineup. As a woman and artist I find it extremely difficult to be on the same bill as SF.
“I also ask myself, ‘Am I really doing my gender a favour by dropping out and letting a band like that win again?’
“I’m at a crossroad as you can see. Don’t get me wrong I’m grateful and ecstatic to be on this lineup bar one act. Please know that just because I’m on the same bill doesn’t mean I align with them.
“It’s important for this to be addressed especially from other artists. I’m not about to be quiet about it, because that’s half the problem.”
Music Feeds has contacted seven other acts on This That’s 2018 lineup (as well as Sticky Fingers) for comment. Two of the acts have declined to comment, while the rest haven’t replied.
Newcastle City Council (which is supporting the festival) and alcohol brand Jack Daniel’s (which is a festival partner) also haven’t responded.
In a statement to Music Feeds regarding Sticky Fingers earlier this week, This That organisers said:
“The This That team do not condone abuse and strive to create a safe and welcoming space for all those attending the festival.
“The team is aware of the rumours and allegations surrounding recent behaviour of some of the members of the band Sticky Fingers.
“This That will not be commenting further on the band’s personal matters.”
This That is scheduled also host sets from the likes of Amy Shark, Illy, Safia, The Rubens, Thandi Phoenix, Boo Seeka and GoldLink this November. View the full lineup here.
Music Feeds has contacted the festival for comment on Annabel Hartlett’s statement.
UPDATE: In a statement to Music Feeds, Jack Daniel’s said:
“We were not aware of these comments before you called them to our attention, nor were we aware of the bands being booked by the festival.
“We do not condone abuse and know that the festival organizers strive to create a safe and welcoming space for all those attending the festival.”