Punk & Disorderly - May/June 2017

Column: Punk and Disorderly   |   Date Published: Saturday, 13 May 17   |   Author: Eleanor Horn   |   1 month, 2 weeks ago

Well, I’m sure you all know what’s coming, the ANU Bar Finale has caused a lot of controversy over the exclusion of female and non-binary artists – and even more controversy when they overtly didn’t give a shit about it. There’s no excuse for ignorant and outdated attitudes, and the fact is, the lack of representation in the music industry is a huge issue. Perhaps not to men, but to everyone else. Maybe you’re reading this and thinking ‘ugh, she’s talking about gender again’, but hey, it’s one of the most important societal issues of our time, and I’m not getting paid for this so I’ll write whatever I want to, fucko.

Naaah, but seriously. I want to talk about this, but I don’t want to be angry anymore. A group of people can’t have a conversation if they’re just standing around shouting at each other and calling people cunts (something I’m guilty of).

Of course, the simple conclusion to seeing a line-up you don’t like is not going to the gig. And while this normally isn’t a big deal, the ANU gig isn’t just an ordinary gig; it’s the celebration and remembrance of the venue’s history. This is a history that women and non-binary people have played a big part in, and to these artists, seeing an all-male line-up must feel something like a slap in the face. These people want to come – they just don’t feel welcome. Putting on a show for a group of people is one thing, but putting on a show for several groups of people is another thing entirely. This is an important show.

I’m sure one thing we can all agree on is that this has created a rift in a small music scene, and it’s a divide we can’t afford. So, let me be the first to say, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that this happened, and I’m sorry for all the anger and hurt that was caused by all this.

The Canberra music community is rich and varied, and that’s what makes it great. I’m not saying we all have to be friends, because that’s just ridiculous (and I can only keep up with, like, two friends at a time). But we must tolerate and be welcoming of each other if we’re going to progress and encourage aspiring artists.

And if we can’t do either, then what’s the point?




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