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HP Boyz + ONEFOUR's Celly14 Show Cancelled Due To 'Pressure From NSW Police'

24 July 2023 | 11:54 am | Jessie Lynch

“Due to police pressuring the venue, we regret to inform you that our show on the 29th of July has been cancelled."

HP Boyz + Celly14

HP Boyz + Celly14 (Instagram)

HP BOYZ’ upcoming Wollongong show alongside ONEFOUR’s Celly has been cancelled amid pressure from NSW Police, organisers have revealed.

The event was set to take place on Friday, July 29 at the University of Wollongong UniBar, with the drill rappers performing along with Section 60, Henny x Masse, HHODS, Salty MC, Ace Myna, DJ Eightball and DJ Siva.

LQD Empire broke the newest that the show had been canned in a statement posted to Instagram on Sunday (July 23) alongside the caption, “We, at LQD Empire initially set out to bring an experience to our patrons but with our first show being cancelled is very unfortunate. We will continue to strive to provide quality, fun, meaningful events and services to our community so keep an eye out for our next project coming real soon.”

In the statement, the organisers alleged they were forced to cancel the event due to pressure from NSW police on the venue.

“Due to police pressuring the venue, we regret to inform you that our show on the 29th of July has been cancelled,” they claimed. “We have done everything in our power to let the show continue, but unfortunately it is out of our control. Moshtix will contact ticket buyers for refunds tomorrow.”

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As the news was posted to Take Flight, artists were quick to slam the show’s cancellation in the comments, including rapper and producer SOLLYY, who said: “Actively blocking musicians from trying to make something of their music, isn’t that what the ultimate goal is? Nanny state, NSW could give two fucks about art and culture really.”

Bliss N Eso’s DJ Ism added: “The more they do this the more they build their fan base it’s literally doing the opposite of what the cops want,” alongside facepalming emojis.

When asked for comment by Purple Sneakers, NSW police denied “cancelling” the event.

“While the NSW Police Force provides safety and security advice to venues, promoters, and other stakeholders ahead of major events, the decision as to whether or not an event will proceed lies with the relevant venue,” the statement read.

“NSW Police will continue to work closely with venues and event organisers to ensure the safety and security of attendees and the wider community.”

Purple Sneakers has reached out to HP Boyz, Celly, LQD Empire for comments on the show’s cancellation.

The gig’s cancellation is bound to be a major disappointment for fans, who were highly anticipating Celly14’s performance as he was recently released from prison after five years behind bars.

It comes following another show co-headlined by fellow Aussie rapper Fortay, HUSKii and That Kid Kearve being shut down by NSW Police on June 3.

Speaking to Purple Sneakers, Fortay said that That Kid Kearve and HUSKii both had their sets cut short, and police made no effort to communicate with organisers before shutting down the show.

He explained: "Police brought sniffer dogs through three separate times during the night which is highly unusual. There was no communication between police and myself nor did I hear anything from management.

"The power was cut and it wasn't until I walked through the crowd, up to the sound man, that they told me police had shut it down. I got back onstage and with a microphone, had to quiet the crowd to tell them it was over due to police shutting it down. No police entered the building but six cars and 20 cops waited outside as management herded patrons like sheep out onto the street, where police awaited."

Fortay went on to express shock at the situation, given that the night had run smoothly up until that point. "I don't understand how an event with no dramas had such a heavy police presence," he said.

"It almost seemed planned and orchestrated. We had three shows in previous states with no hiccups. I guess if they can taser a 90-year-old lady then anyone can be a victim."

It also comes after controversy at this year's Sydney Royal Easter Show after they were instructed not to play rap music - particularly drill music - in a bid to crack down on violence at the annual event after 17-year-old carnival worker Uati “Pele” Faletolu was stabbed to death in the middle of a crowd in 2022.

Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith then named Australia's Comanchero Motorcycle Club and ONEFOUR as the catalysts for the ban.

"So the Comanchero bikie gang last year, particularly and proactively procured youths through rapper music," he said. "They hired a fellow ...  and through rapper music investment they procured a significant youth gang problem to carry out violent crime.

"So KVT, ONEFOUR, all those gangs were carrying out serious violent crime on behalf of the Comanchero gang, we've got all the evidence we need to demonstrate that rapper music is being used to lure youth into a life of crime."

Assistant Commissioner Smith said, from their investigations, it was "very clear that these people will not leave each other alone".