Wolfmother drop out of Indonesian festival on moral grounds

September 22, 2010 by  

Wolfmother have officially pulled out of the Java Rockin’Land music festival to be held in October 2010 in Indonesia. According to a statement from lead vocalist and guitarist Andrew Stockdale, which can be read in full below or on the official Wolfmother website, the band have chosen to cancel their headlining show on the basis of moral opposition to one of the festival’s sponsors, a cigarette-producing conglomerate. Stockdale has promised that the band will make an effort to visit Indonesia to perform for its fans at some point in the future, although this may not be until the band next tours, which could be in 2011 or later.

Read the full Andrew Stockdale statement below:

Hello Folks,

Well I’m very sorry to hear of the negative light that has been shone upon our October trip to play in Jakarta. As far as I knew it was a festival! I had no idea of any sponsoring or affiliations with a large tobacco company. My brother’s wife is Indonesian and my two nephews are half-Indonesian so I was looking forward to heading over to Indonesia to check it out so to speak. Now I find myself being vilified as some morally decrepit individual using the tobacco industries money to line my pockets. So I have to make my voice heard in this situation.

With the severity of the issue of smoking in Indonesia, I completely understand that bands playing with promo girls handing out cigarettes isn’t going to help kids stop smoking in Indonesia.

So it is without hesitation I will now announce that we will be cancelling our headline show at Java Rockin’ Land on the 10th of October 2010. We are very regretful to miss this opportunity to play to our Indonesian fans, though hopefully in the not too distant future we can do more shows under different terms.

All the best,

Andrew Stockdale


11 Responses to “Wolfmother drop out of Indonesian festival on moral grounds”

  1. molotov on September 22nd, 2010 7:35 pm

    well,im agree with andrew statement but that’s make me dissapointed because i really reallly want to see they perfomance :(
    but i hope wolfmother will come to indonesia someday..

  2. Simon Chapman on September 22nd, 2010 8:03 pm

    Andrew — I can’t tell you how important your action is in this. I am very well connected with international tobacco control and I will do all I can to have your action acknowledged at the very highest levels. You have made a statement that will have major repercussions around the world for the future of the tobacco industry’s ability to do what they were trying to do in Indonesia.
    Thanks so much. Very proud that a fellow Australian has done this.
    Prof Simon Chapman, Univ of Sydney

  3. marita on September 22nd, 2010 9:05 pm

    Wolfmother, you rock! Your action in withdrawing from the Java Rockin Land festival is fantastic – thank you for taking such a principled stand :-)

  4. Stafford Sanders on September 22nd, 2010 11:21 pm

    I work in public health and against tobacco but I’m also a parent and a muso – and I give you, Andrew, and the band a huge cheer for pulling out of the concert. Most of us assumed you were unaware of the tobacco deal and wouldn’t be happy about it once you found out. It really makes a difference for guys like you to stand up publicly against these lying, exploitative bastards. You’re legends, mate! Cheers!!!!

  5. Vanessa on September 23rd, 2010 5:20 am

    Thank you Wolfmother! Smoking is a HUGE public health issue in Indonesia as the country has virtually no tobacco control policies. This means they are a marketing paradise for big tobacco companies to promote their dealdy products to young people. Handing out free cigarettes to young people attending a music gig is just plain criminal! Well done for cancelling your gig, we applaud you!

    Vanessa Beal, Smarter than Smoking Project, Western Australia

  6. Maurice Swanson on September 23rd, 2010 8:42 am

    Dear Andrew
    On behalf of the Heart Foundation of Australia I congratulate you and the band for this fantastic decision. Smoking in Indonesia is a huge problem and a leading cause of preventable death and much misery. Wolfmother has set a terrific example for other bands.

    Maurice Swanson

  7. Andre on September 23rd, 2010 2:14 pm

    This site isn’t connected with the band, by the way, so Andrew won’t see the comments directed to him. I’m sure he’d appreciate your kind words, however, and I strongly agree with his choice to pull Wolfmother out of the festival on such grounds.

  8. [a] on September 24th, 2010 5:48 am

    I agree that smoking is a problem here in Indonesia, in fact me myself are still looking for ways to stop.

    While you should realize as well that without the tobacco sponsorship it would too expensive for people to watch their fav bands or artist. Even with already sponsored by tobacco co, the average concert ticket price can be half or at least a third of the average fresh graduate salary. Compare it with your condition where on a monthly basis a fresh graduate can take home something like $3000-$4000 (this is a pure guess), while your Big Day Out ticket price is only $140. It’s No Comparison.

    Other thing as well, if tobacco is considered dangerous, how about alcohol then?

    *not looking for a fight here, instead a discussion is much more welcome :)

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