Triple j Content Director Ollie Wards has responded to the controversy surrounding Cory Bernardi‘s Hottest 100-style Australia Day countdown, which the conservative politician launched earlier this month in protest of triple j moving its annual countdown away from Australia Day.
Speaking with Fairfax Media, the triple j boss says he hasn’t listened to Bernardi’s ‘Australian Conservatives 100’ playlist, and he doesn’t have any issues with the senator’s controversial countdown.
“He [Bernardi] can do what he wants,” Wards says. “At the end of the day, if somebody is promoting and celebrating Australian music, that’s what we’re all about.”
Wards says he understands why some people weren’t happy with triple j‘s decision to move the Hottest 100 away from 26th January, but also urged them not to boycott the countdown.
“Every time there’s a change to something people love, it gets a reaction,” he says. “[But just] think about it for a little while. We’re going to be having an awesome party and everyone is invited.
“I know change can be difficult, but when they’re ready we’ll be here having the same old music countdown.
“Whether it’s this week or next Hottest 100, people can talk about it and hopefully debate the music and not debate the date it’s on. We don’t want the Hottest 100 to be part of the big political debate happening now.”
Wards says triple j is working “triple time” to make this year’s Hottest 100 a success, despite the strong opinions surrounding 26th January.
With the countdown now set to take place on the last Saturday of January, Wards says triple j is yet to confirm when next year’s countdown will take place, as the last Saturday of January 2019 will be on Australia Day.
“The way the weekend falls does change, which is out of everyone’s control,” he says. “We’ll review how it all goes and make an announcement about the 2019 dates in the near future.”
Despite some people’s calls for a boycott of this year’s Hottest 100, triple j broke its all-time voting record for the Hottest 100 of 2017, with 2,386,133 votes making this year’s countdown the largest on record.
The station also teased this year’s Hottest 100 results yesterday, by releasing some juicy statistics about how the public voted.
The Hottest 100 of 2017 will take place this Saturday, 27th January, with the Hottest 200 to follow on Sunday, 28th January. Double J will also be replaying the 1997 Hottest 100 on Sunday.