BrisCAN-G20 Media Release
October 16, 2014
Brisbane Cultural icons reject G20 “Cultural Event” as distraction from real issues
BrisCAN-G20 organisers welcome news that prominent Brisbane community broadcaster 4ZZZfm and iconic Brisbane bands SixftHick and Monster Zoku Onsomb (MZO) have taken a principled stand against the state sponsorship of local cultural events during the G20, on the basis of the economic and social policies it reflects. These Brisbane cultural icons are amongst the latest to join an array of community groups and individuals in boycotting G20 events.
The G20 ‘cultural events’ are widely perceived amongst the community as a diversionary tactic employed by the government to discourage people from participating in the social change movements that target the State and Federal governments’ economic, social and environmental polices.
BrisCAN spokesperson and community radio producer, Kim Stewart, says, “By staging a state-paid-for ‘rent a crowd’ event, the government are attempting to distract us from the real costs of their policies on the young, on the disadvantaged and on the environment.
Heather Anderson, Chair of the 4ZZZ board of directors says, “4ZZZ has a reputation for supporting the community and we can honestly say that the direction of the economic policies of the Newman government, the Abbott government and economic rationalism in general are not supporting the community. Newman has severely cut funding to the arts in this state. So we can understand why struggling artists might take the sponsorship gig, but it is important for 4ZZZ to place its principles first.”
SixftHick and MZO are known for their politically motivated lyrics in defence of the exploited and have performed to benefit social justice causes.
SixFtHicks’ Geoff Corbett, says the band withdrew from the event after viewing marketing material touting the “G20 cultural celebration”: “I am not opposed to money changing hands if it is for compensation to artists/workers who are negatively impacted by G20.
“However it would appear this event is not about the supporting the Arts, it is about manipulation, diversion and political gain and as such the funding should not be stripped from the Arts sector. The G20 is not Expo 88 Brisbane! It is not just cause for “cultural celebration.
“I think that unfortunately a lot of people have been placed in a difficult situation. Workers/artists who live hand to mouth are the ones who are really being exploited/strong armed here. I understand if people take the $. We collectively pulled the pin because we would feel wrong about taking it.”
MZO, whose politically motivated performances make them unlikely to gain government approval, have been outspoken on the issue of tainted sponsorship. Sam Kretchmann says, “None of my musical heroes or music industry peers around the world would be caught dead performing for the official “G20 Cultural Celebrations”. I am shocked and disappointed that while the eyes of the world are on Brisbane, my local fraternity have chosen the path to a quick buck and a lame attempt to “change the system from within”.
“You guys are not fooling anyone, and if you think that the Brisbane music community hasn’t noticed this hypocritical stance, well you are wrong. There is still time to pull out of these events and send a strong message to your community, the community that has supported you over the years, and will still be here after the G20 has long gone.”
BrisCan-G20 congratulate SixftHick, MZO and 4ZZZfm for their support of community interests over state profit-based agendas.
We extend a hearty invitation to all those artists who have declined the government’s offer to particpate in the G20 event to join us in our People’s Convergence November 8-15.
Media: Kim Stewart 0413397839
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