Rock band Regurgitator has pulled out of its headline slot at the Australian National University (ANU) bar’s final show, after the organiser responded to backlash over the all-male line-up by asking why he should “think about this shit”.
The ANU Bar is set to close this year, with a final event to be held in June.
The bar, an institution for Canberra university students, allows bookers to secure dates and promote their own shows and does not require approval from the university itself.
Canberran Garry Peadon secured the final spot, allowing him complete control over the acts secured for the gig.
When the event was announced on social media, some Facebook users commented on the lack of female acts.
But Mr Peadon’s response only drew more controversy.
When questioned why there were “no women or non-binary performers” in the line-up, Mr Peadon, posting as his event services company Greenroom Canberra, replied: “Why do I have too (sic) even think about this shit? What the f*** is a non-binary?”.
He went on to say that he would not be changing the line-up and that the bands were not chosen “for what’s between their members’ legs”.
By mid-afternoon on Tuesday, headline act Regurgitator announced it had withdrawn from the event.
Bands not booked on ‘what’s between their legs’
Mr Peadon did say that he had attempted to book some female acts for the show but that they were not available.
“This is my show, I’m paying for it and I’ll put whoever I want on it,” Mr Peadon wrote.
“What’s next, make sure we have a certain amount of coloured people and races on the bill? It’s music — it’s that simple.”
His posts received a combined 20 replies — most of which provided suggestions for why Mr Peadon should care about the lack of female talent on show.
But some people defended Mr Peadon’s right to chose his show’s line-up and criticised the “overly politically correct” attitudes of some commenters.
“I’m a level 5 vegan with coeliac, please ensure the bar staff are aware that I exist and that I do not want my drinking glasses touching the glasses of the filthy wheat enjoying majority. #2017 #getwiththetimes #seperateglassesorimnotcoming,” one person posted.
Another attempted to explain what “non-binary” meant by posting a series of 1s and 0s.
Speaking to ABC Radio Canberra, Mr Peadon said he did not understand why people took offence to his response and that he would not place more consideration on gender balance for his shows in the future.
“If I’m going to cop backlash over bringing acts to Canberra and paying out of my own pocket for most of the gigs that I do, then I’d prefer not to do them, I’ve got better things to do,” he said.
The ANU Union has been contacted for comment.
The ANU Bar is set to close in June as part of a larger redevelopment on the university’s campus. (ABC News: Alexandra Beech)