King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have dropped off of Australia's Bluesfest in protest of festival organizers defending their decision to book controversial band Sticky Fingers, whose vocalist Dylan Frost has been accused of violence and racism in the past. King Gizzard writes:

As a band and as human beings, we 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.

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.

As others have reported, Frost was accused of being physically threatening towards Gamilaraay musician Thelma Plum in 2016, which he later responded to in a statement on social media saying that "violence against women is never OK." In 2018, he was ejected from a Sydney pub after harassing transgender model and writer Alexandra V. Tanygina, whose account of events the band denied. He was also accused of making racist comments towards indigenous band Dispossessed, which other members of the band called a "massive misunderstanding."

Bluesfest director Peter Noble defended the booking in a statement to Australian press, saying, "Everybody has a right to be forgiven and to show who they can be ... and this man is attempting to do that, so that’s why he’s on Bluesfest. Our community is one of inclusiveness ... and this man deserves an opportunity. Give him a chance. That’s what I’m trying to do."

"I’m aware the singer is a diagnosed bipolar schizophrenic, and I am aware that, whatever happened in 2016, he’s had years of no incidents while he’s been managing his condition," Noble continued. "At what point are we going to show compassion and forgiveness through his efforts at growth? When do we forgive people with a mental health issue at attempting to move forward in life?"

"Whatever happened in the past is in the past," Noble added. "At some point, you have to allow people to move on with their life. They’re playing a sold-out tour of the UK right now ... and there are no issues. Stop living in the past, live in the now and let [Frost] be who he is, which is a great artist."

Other musicians, including Camp Cope's Sarah Thompson, have spoken out against the festival's decision to book Sticky Fingers as well:

Here is King Gizzard's post:

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