Sticky Fingers Removed from Bluesfest 2023 Lineup
Sticky Fingers will not take to the stage at the 2023 edition of Bluesfest in Byron Bay.
Festival organisers announced the backflip this afternoon after continued calls for the band to be removed from the lineup.
Festival director Peter Noble has previously emphatically backed the band, railing against attempts to “suppress the band’s artistic expression” and the “cruelty and lack of compassion” being afforded to the band.
Despite his rallying cries, artists such as King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard cancelled their appearance at the festival, saying they had been compelled to do so “as human beings [who] stand against misogyny, racism, transphobia and violence”.
Sampa the Great also refused to continue to participate in the festival, with representatives confirming she had actually tried to be removed from the lineup and associated marketing materials as soon as she became aware of Sticky Fingers’ involvement and before any announcement were made.
Sticky Fingers took a break in 2016 after band member Dylan Frost was accused of threatening Indigenous musician Thelma Plum and making racist remarks at a gig featuring Indigenous punk band Dispossessed.
The band reformed in 2018.
Despite pulling the plug on their performance, Noble continued to back the band, saying they had “done so many good deeds that have never been reported”.
The announcement from Bluesfest’s Peter Noble:
We are sad to announce that Bluesfest has decided that Sticky Fingers is to step off the Bluesfest 2023 line-up.
Bluesfest cannot, sadly, continue to support Sticky Fingers by having them play our 2023 edition, and we apologise to those artists, sponsors and any others we involved in this matter through our mistaken belief that forgiveness and redemption are the rock on which our society is built.
The narrative that they continue to deserve to be cancelled, as well as anyone who publicly supports them, is difficult to accept, wherein a portion of society and media passes eternal judgment toward those, in this case, a diagnosed mentally ill person whom we feel doesn’t deserve the continued public scrutiny he’s being given.
We thank everyone who has contacted us and advised their support in this matter, especially those suffering from a mental illness who feel they cannot have their illness supported in a manner whereby they feel included in society.
Sticky Fingers has done so many good deeds that have never been reported, including building and funding recording studios and music education programs in disadvantaged regional
We will now move on, put this behind us and continue to plan and present our best-ever edition of Bluesfest… proudly.