Bluesfest's Peter Noble Issues Statement After Sampa The Great Withdrawal

22 February 2023 | 7:05 pm | Staff Writer

“I hoped it didn't need to be said, but unfortunately, it does.”

(Source: Supplied)

More Sticky Fingers More Sticky Fingers

Festival director Peter Noble has shared a new statement in regard to Sticky Fingers’ inclusion on the Bluesfest line-up.

Noble’s comments, shared directly with ticketholders this afternoon, arrived shortly after it was revealed that Sampa The Great would not be performing at the April festival.

“I hoped it didn't need to be said, but unfortunately, it does. We at Bluesfest stand for something: inclusivity,” Noble said.

“We want to support artists who are achieving greatness, which often involves overcoming incredible hurdles. Please take the time to educate yourself with the facts regarding Sticky Fingers.

“They aren't monsters; they are a seriously great Australian band whose singer has had to overcome barriers that would have sidelined all but the most determined to continue to perform. Yes, he has transgressed in the past, but not for many years.

“I question why there is such an ongoing witch-hunt toward a man with a mental health disorder. A man who is attempting to grow and function in society.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

“Shouldn't we forgive and provide a path to redemption for artists who have taken ownership of their situation and have proven for many years now that they have found a way to function responsibly?

“Is Australia the only place in the world where a minority attempts to ban one of Australia's great bands over something that happened so many years ago?

“I want to thank the vast majority of the music industry for supporting inclusivity. Make us proud, Dylan; you are doing great!”

It’s the second statement from Noble in the past 24 hours, after his comments yesterday following King Gizzard & The Lizard’s cancellation due to Sticky Fingers being added to the line-up last week.

"As a band and as human beings, we stand against misogyny, racism, transphobia and violence,” King Gizzard stated at the time of their cancellation on Monday.

"Surprised and saddened to see Bluesfest commit to presenting content that is in complete opposition to these values,” they said.

“Given this decision by the festival, we have decided to cancel our appearance at Bluesfest. 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. This is, unfortunately, one of those moments.”

The announcement of Sticky Fingers' inclusion on Bluesfest last week drew social media attention due to the band's well-documented history of alleged altercations, internal band fights and struggles with alcohol addiction and mental health issues.

Returning to Byron Events Farm, Bluesfest 2023 will feature Mavis Staples, Bonnie Raitt, The Doobie Brothers, Jackson Browne, Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, Paolo Nutini, Lucinda Williams, Beck, Gang Of Youths, Tash Sultana and more.