King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard drop out of Bluesfest 2023: “You have to make sacrifices to stand up for your values”
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have announced that they will no longer be performing at this year’s Bluesfest following controversy regarding another band on the billing.
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The Australian rockers were set to perform at the upcoming festival held in New South Wales later this year. However, the members have now confirmed that they will be withdrawing from the event due to the booking of another Australian band, Sticky Fingers, who had provoked controversy following allegations of racism and violence, against the frontman Dylan Frost.
Two of these allegations arose in 2016. The first of which stated that Frost made threats towards aboriginal singer-songwriter Thelma Plum. Plum also claimed that he made further racist comments during a performance by the band Dispossessed.
Although the frontman later apologised for his actions and claimed to enter rehab, in 2018, Frost once again made headlines after accusations stated that he threatened a transgender woman. The band has denied these claims.
Now, as Sticky Fingers are set to play at Bluesfest later this year, King Gizzard have released a statement, claiming that they are unwilling to perform at the same event as people who ‘oppose their values’.
“As a band and as human beings we stand against misogyny, racism, transphobia and violence,” they wrote on Instagram. “[We are] surprised and saddened to see Bluesfest commit to presenting content that is in complete opposition to these values.”
They continued, “We are deeply disappointed to be in this position but sometimes you need to be willing to make sacrifices to stand up for your values.”
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Currently, Sticky Fingers are still expected to perform at the event in April.
Following the controversy, Bluesfest director Peter Noble has previously defended the decision to book the band, stating (via NME): “Everybody has a right to be forgiven and to show who they can be … and this man is attempting to do that, so that’s why he’s on Bluesfest.”
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