Furore Over ANU Bar Finale

This story contains coarse language and mentions of Queer* discrimination.

ANU bar’s final show is being demolished faster than the bar itself, with two bands pulling out after controversial comments made by promoter Canberra Greenroom in response to questions over lack of diversity in the line-up.

ANU Bar Finale revealed its plans for the night, causing several people to question why no women or non-binary individuals were performing. The event promoters, Canberra Greenroom, then provoked controversy, replying, “Why do I have too even think about this shit? What the fuck is a non binary?”. This sparked fierce debate on the page regarding the issues of representation within the music industry, the role of promoters and the public in supporting artists, and discrimination.

Bands Regurgitator and Slow Turismo have both chosen to withdraw, citing issues regarding the lack of representation, with Slow Turismo saying to Junkee “We feel Slow Turismo cannot be part of an event that does not represent the future of Australian music.” The issue has also drawn attention from outside ANU, with coverage from Junkee, Musicfeeds, Pedestrian, and Triple J.

Canberra Greenroom responded to accusations of bias, stating “The bands where chosen for a reason, not for whats between their members legs … Whats next, make sure we have a certain amount of colored people and races on the bill? Its music – its that simple [sic]”, and claimed that numerous female acts were approached, but were unable or unavailable to perform.

Many, however, held the issue was with the aggression of the response by Greenroom Canberra as much as their message, and how they had ‘lashed out’ at the initial comment, with one saying she was ‘Boycotting over the organiser’s response more than anything’.

The event celebrates the last night before ANU Bar’s closure and demolition as part of the Union Court redevelopment, but is not officially affiliated with the ANU or the ANU Union.

Concerns were raised with the ANUSA Queer* and Women’s officers, who expressed dismay at the comments made by Greenroom, and urged students to contact the Union with their views or concerns.

The ANU Union said in a statement that they will re-open the offer for acts to perform, and encourage students from all backgrounds to apply following feedback from students regarding the event. Interested acts should contact the ANU Union at [email protected]

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