Odd Future removed from New Zealand festival lineup over ‘homophobic lyrics’

Promoters of the Big Day Out festival New Zealand date have been forced to remove rap collective Odd Future from the line up after complaints were made about their alleged homophobic lyrics.

Auckland City Council, who owns Big Day Out venue Mt Smart Stadium, told the organizers to remove the band from the bill or face licensing issues after a local activist Calum Bennachie complained to Auckland City Council about the groups lyrics.

“Lyrics such as those played by Odd Future increase the societal discourse against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, a discourse that encourages bullying and violence,” Bennachie said. If it is acceptable to say something similar to ‘gays are a cancer on society that deserves to be eliminated’, then what group would be next?”

“By allowing Odd Future to play at Big Day Out, you are proving that you have little concern for the lives and welfare of LGBT people, that you are willing to endanger their lives, and seek to encourage stigmatisation against them. I find this disappointing in an organisation that could do so much to enhance the self-esteem of youth, reduce stigma, and discourage violence.”

This is the second time that an act has recently been pulled from the Big Day Out bill over homophobic views when in 2010 reggae star Beenie Man was removed from the event after gay rights groups expressed concerns at his invitation.

Despite this incident, Big Day Out promoter Ken West has confirmed that the removal does not affect the Australian leg of the festival and has said that he will be organising a separate headline show for Odd Future to play in Auckland.