Sampa The Great ditches Bluesfest over Sticky Fingers controversy


Sampa The Great has pulled out of Bluesfest just days after popular Band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard cancelled their performance.

Outrage has followed the popular festival after it was announced that controversial Sydney band Sticky Fingers would be a part of the line-up.

Representatives of Sampa The Great confirmed to Double J that she 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.”

Camera IconDylan Frost from the band Sticky Fingers has been caught up in numerous controversies in recent years, sparking backlash to the band’s involvement in the music festival. NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi Credit: News Corp Australia

“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,” the statement said.

Sticky Fingers’ frontman Dylan Frost has made headlines for incidents in recent years including accusations he behaved in a physically threatening manner toward Indigenous musician Thelma Plum.

Mr Frost responded to the allegations by issuing a statement about his “unacceptable” behaviour.

“In recent times my behaviour for a large part has been unacceptable – I’m writing here and now with a heavy heart admitting this, and wish I had faced my issues earlier,” wrote on the band’s official Facebook page.

“I am realising now a lot of people around me have been hurt by my behaviour and for that, I am incredibly sorry. I have not sought to target individuals or groups. All people around me have been affected by my behaviour during these episodes.”

Bluesfest director Peter Noble responded to the controversy earlier this week by saying it was an opportunity for forgiveness.

“I believe an attempt to victimise this man and his band in the circumstances is cruel and unforgiving,” Mr Noble said in a statement.

This cruelty and lack of compassion are foreign to my values, as is the attempt to suppress the band’s artistic expression. I was and remain proud to give the band a chance at rehabilitation.”

Sampa The Great’s exit follows band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard who said they “stand against misogyny, racism, transphobia and violence.”

“Surprised and saddened to see Bluesfest commit to presenting content that is in complete opposition to these values,” the band said in a statement.

More to come.


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