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ITNTW: Sticky Business for Sticky Fingers

We’ve seen the internet blow up in anger over the announcement that Sticky Fingers was going to be playing at Byron Bay Bluesfest, but why are people so pressed about a band playing at a festival?

Well the lead singer in the band, Dylan Frost, has had past allegations of threatening and abusive behaviour & has been public about his bipolar schizophrenia diagnosis. Allegedly he was physically threatening towards indigenous singer Thelma Plum. Over the years, the band has gained a negative reputation from Frosts’ actions.

At first the director of Bluesfest, Peter Noble, came out with a statement saying he supports having Sticky Fingers as a part of the lineup & he “question(s) why there is such an ongoing witch-hunt toward a man with a mental health disorder”.

Unfortunately this did not sit well with the public, as they all shared their disappointment on social media. In protest of the decision, multiple acts that were to perform such as King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard and Sampa the Great, pulled out over the controversial decision.

Bluesfest then backtracked and decided to remove Sticky Fingers from the lineup after all the backlash. In a statement they said, “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”.

From a PR perspective, whilst Bluesfest stands as an inclusive festival they have to consider the type of acts they put in their lineup as it is a reflection of the festival as a whole. Having a controversial act can give the impression to society and other artists  that the festival condones their alleged behaviour. Ultimately, the festival should have come to a conclusion prior to other acts pulling out.

By Tilly Powell – PR & Influencer Coordinator at InsideOut PR and #AsSeenOn

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