Sampa The Great has announced that she has dropped out of Bluesfest, after “advocating” to be removed since learning which other artists were added to the lineup last week.
Sampa The Great was added to the Bluesfest lineup on the same day as Sticky Fingers, rock band FOOLS and multi-instrumentalist Jerome William.
In a statement provided to Double J, Sampa The Great’s representatives confirmed that the artist had been trying to remove herself from the lineup since learning about the other additions.
“We started contact with Bluesfest to inform them of our standpoint within half an hour of receiving the embargoed press release and seeing the remainder of the line-up,” the statement reads.
“We then delivered final confirmation to Bluesfest at 7:36pm AEDT on Tuesday 14 February that Sampa was coming off the line-up, in the hopes they would remove her from all materials before they announced the following day.”
Earlier this week, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard announced that they decided to drop out of Bluesfest, citing “opposition” to the festival’s values as the reason.
The decision came shortly after the festival added Sticky Fingers to the lineup, whose frontman Dylan Frost has past allegations of violence.
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In a statement released yesterday, Bluesfest director Peter Noble has now addressed the complex situation, pointing out his festival’s historical commitment to diversity.
“Over the years, Bluesfest has been the promoter of music festivals which allowed diverse artists to exercise their freedom of artistic expression and have afforded the Australian public access to their works,” Noble’s statement begins.
“In the course of doing so, Bluesfest has been proud to give prominence to Indigenous artists and to promote diversity in the music industry.”
Noble’s statement continues: “Recently, a band decided to cancel a forthcoming appearance at Bluesfest because Sticky Fingers, particularly its lead singer (who are booked to play at Bluesfest), was involved in an incident with another artist offstage a long time ago.”