The Brag Media
News May 23, 2024

WAM ‘Disappointed’ at ‘East Coast’ Headliner Selected for WA Day Fest

WAM ‘Disappointed’ at ‘East Coast’ Headliner Selected for WA Day Fest

A brouhaha is brewing on the west coast, as West Australian Music (WAM) “expresses disappointment” over the booking of an east coast artist for the annual WA Day festival.

The trade body brought attention to the 2023 WA Day Festival which “prominently featured non-WA artists” on the lineup, and claims its concerns and those of the local community were “largely unaddressed,” reads a statement.

“We had hoped that, Celebrate WA, the organisation responsible for curating the WA Day Festival, would have reconsidered their approach,” the statement continues.

“However, they have elected to feature two east coast artists to headline the main event. This decision is in direct contrast with Celebrate WA’s mission ‘to honour and celebrate Western Australia’s unique culture and talent.’”

Top billing on the first day of the free concert, on Sunday, June 2 is given to a non-WA artist, notes WAM, without naming the act. A glance at the bill reveals Guy Sebastian is locked in as headliner.

Homegrown psychedelic rock band Pond headlines the second evening, on Monday, June 3. WA acts booked across the WA Day Festival include Eskimo Joe, Siobhan Cotchin, The Waifs, and End of Fashion.

WA Day was changed from Foundation Day in April 2012, following bipartisan political support in the Western Australian parliament.

The WA Day holiday always takes place on the first Monday in June, and creates momentum for statewide participation in a range of activities and events that “showcase the Western Australian spirit and our many achievements,” reads a statement on the official page of Celebrate WA, a not-for-profit organisation responsible for promoting and organising the annual WA Day.

WAM’s executive director Livia Carré is calling for WA-only line ups at all future WA Day fests.

“The east coast headline acts have garnered significant attention and media coverage over the weekend,” Carré comments. “While they may be seen as a drawcard, this approach misses the point. WA talent is not only exceptional but also abundant and should not be overshadowed by east coast artists, especially on the one weekend a year, dedicated to celebrating our pride in being West Australian.”

The two-day music fest is set for Optus Stadium Precinct and Burswood Park.

The Music Network reached out to Celebrate WA for comment.


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