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War of words between Wellington band and Tauranga music festival

Feb 26th, 2013 | By | Category: Latest News, News

ON STAGE: A band performing at the Woodcock festival. Image: Supplied

A MUSIC festival’s use of “homophobic and sexist” promotional material and signage has been attacked by a Wellington band.

However, the objectionable language was used ironically, festival organiser Scowlin Wolf said in the social media argument.

Mr Wolf staged the Woodcock festival on a farm near Tauranga two weekends ago.

“I don’t expect you to see or get my point cause I only partly get your overly politically correct, hyper liberal commie stance,” he responded on Facebook to an attack by a Wellington band.

“Words are just that – words. I understand some have more negative connotations than others and that is sad but it’s too late to change vocabulary.”

Joel Cosgrove, guitar player for Wellington indie group Big Rick, on Facebook attacked the camping festivals atmosphere.

“There were mint bands, playing throughout the day. But the homophobic and sexist bullshit that was bandied about is neither ironic or funny,” he wrote on Facebook.

The response from members of the public to this dispute has been divided, with some praising Mr Cosgrove for the stand he took.

“This “ironic” racism, misogynism, homophobia and transphobia that gets casually bandied about by “edgy cool kids” in all kind of circles really needs to get called out for the bigoted bullshit it is,” commented Laetitia Hershey.

Others came to the defence of Woodcock, praising the role it played in Tauranga’s cultural diversity.

“Tauranga needs Woodcock. Somewhere for the ‘freaks’, the outsiders, the anti heroes… the gloriously open minded minority who can’t stomach anymore barbeque reggae or dub,” said Kalou Koefoed.

Mr Wolf has questioned why Big Rick played the festival at all, considering the long history he and his colleagues have of using such language.

“You are more than welcome to return to Woodcock next year but don’t expect any great life changes. Woodcock will continue on my terms whether I am right or wrong. These are my rights. I can respect yours but can you respect mine?”

In spite of their criticisms, Bick Rick says they would return to the festival if things changed.

“Would we play again at a Woodcock without the bullshit? Hell yes.”

Aspects of the weekend that could be seen as objectionable included a band that used fascist symbols like Nazi salutes during their act.

Woodcock 2013 was held on a private farm just outside of Tauranga, with about 200 people attending and 30 bands playing.

The lineup included acts ranging from Street Urchins to the well known Die! Die! Die!.

When approached by Newswire for comment, Mr Wolf said he had already posted what he had to say online, but added a final message to Wellington musicians.

“Your scene is lame, I hate musos. Quote me.”

Local council officials said they had received no complaints about either the festival or its promotional material, with local police echoing this.

“I was working at the time, nobody complained to us,” says Senior Sergeant Glenn Saunders on Tauranga police.

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5 comments
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  1. Typical nz journalism, cant get the facts right, the band in the photo is not Big Rick so how about using the right image

  2. That is not Big Rick.

  3. Woodcock was a festival without prejudice or profit. A day for people to chill and enjoy some original sounds. End of. There was no hidden agenda, no politics, no direction other than having a bit of fun for the day. If this band want 15 minutes of fame then they should put their efforts into music rather than misrepresenting the intentions of an event held for the greater good of music in the area. Thanks to all the other people who attended and respected our property and understood correctly the concept that was created.

  4. Well the fact tauranga police support the words of Mr Wolf would
    Be indicative of the fact Woodwork was the best thing that’s happened to tauranga
    Since winney stopped being our MP

  5. Compared to the crowded festivals where you’re fenced in like animals and forced to share space with drug-taking troublemakers, Woodcock was a breath of fresh air, relaxing in the sun with other genuine music fans.

    Of course not everybody finds immature humour funny. That doesn’t need pointing out. Blaming Woodcock’s language for the small minority of people who condone sexist, racist or homophobic attitudes/beliefs is like blaming video games for real-world violence. Woodcock was intentionally politically incorrect and it’s wrong to take it seriously. The only thing the occasionally uncomfortable atmosphere of the festival encourages is healthy debate about freedom of speech.

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