An interesting event happened today, and I say interesting as we don’t usually see this type of thing in aussie hip hop. It seems that The Herd have come under fire for accepting to play at an upcoming gig dubbed the Coal To Coast Festival. It seems that the festival’s motives of ‘celebrating the benefits of mining to the community’, have upset some of the more political fans of The Herd.
The argument spilled over on to the Elefant Traks website forum and has also had Urthboy twittering madly. As we know some of the views put forward on forums are sometimes……. thin on substance, to say the very least.
One post went on to say this:
“Herd, please say it ain’t so, that when global scientific consensus tells us burning fossil fuels is going to trigger runaway climate change THIS CENTURY that will mean millions, possibly billions of deaths, you are not playing at a gig to make the coal industry look all warm and fuzzy to Australia’s youth? See http://www.coaltocoastfestival.com.au/ Peter Garrett eat your heart out. So disappointing I feel sick.”
Another post finished up with the words: “WAKE UP! STOP SELLING OUT, AND GET BACK THE POLITICS THAT YOUR POPULARITY RELIES ON”.
Caps lock and all.
A supporter of the Herds predicament had this to say “One gig that’s not perfect and you accuse the guys of selling out? Seems rather harsh. It’s not like they’ve decided to call their next album “Carbon Century” and donate sales to mining companies”
After all the criticism Urthboy had this to say about the whole affair.
Thanks to everyone who has gotten in contact with us about this festival. This is a very serious issue and we share your concerns. Please read below and forward to your networks.
FAQ Regarding the Coal to Coast Festival
Does the Herd support the coal industry?
No. We believe that alternatives in energy production as well as employment should be prioritised as a matter of urgency. Climate change is the biggest crisis facing the planet. Coal is a major polluter. It’s pretty simple.
Why then is the Herd playing at the Coal to Coast festival?
The Herd were contracted by the Mackay Regional Council to play a local council event. Over the years The Herd and the other acts on the Elefant Traks label have been booked by local government to play at community events. They normally prove uncontroversial. We had no reason to suspect this event was anything other than a day out for the people of Mackay. The fact that some of the many sponsors of the event are mining companies was not made clear to us at the time. It came as a complete surprise to us, not least because we are known for our stance on the environment. Other sponsors of the event include Channel 7, Sea FM, The Daily Mercury, ABC Tropical North and the CFMEU.
Will the Herd tone down their message?
No. We’ll play our songs in full and unedited. How this will be perceived is beyond us. But if activism is to work then we need to take the message to the people in precisely these towns. We now see this as an opportunity to go some way to providing an alternative message to the young people of Mackay.
What else will the Herd do for climate change?
We will be donating proceeds of our performance to Greenpeace. We hope that this will go some way to providing a cleaner more sustainable future.
How do we avoid a situation like this arising again?
We would never knowingly get involved in an event that supports the coal industry. We’ve asked our booking agents to be diligent in researching the sponsors of community events like this one in future.
We really believe that the guys have handled this strange situation in a professional manner. In no way should the tag ‘Sell Out’ be mentioned in the same sentence as The Herd, and shows the fickleness of some fans . As explained above the guys had no reason to suspect this event was anything other than a day out for the people of Mackay and they shouldnt be unfairly discriminated against. We hear on the rumor mill that Triple J’s Hack, have picked up on the story, and we look forward to the real story getting out there. Stay tuned for further details on that.
As a first for allaussie hip hop, we are opening comments on this post for discussion. Tell us what you think of this situation? Are The Herd sell out’s, or are the fans wrong?
To get the latest on this ever changing situation, please follow the links below.
Please also note, that The Herd did not play the Coal To Coast Festival.