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'We Haven’t Asked For A Ban': NSW Police Backtrack On Rap Music Ban At Sydney Royal Easter Show

6 April 2023 | 8:56 am | Jessie Lynch

“If there’s rap music that’s quite pleasant and there’s no offensive language, they can play it, that’s not an issue.”

NSW Police and Sydney Royal Easter Show organisers have seemingly backtracked on comments they made this week saying that rap music would be banned from this year's event in a bid to curb youth violence following the stabbing death of 17-year-old carnival worker Uati “Pele” Faletolu in 2022.

According to the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW chief executive Brock Gilmour, organisers, not police, made the decision to prohibit music that contained offensive language or “aggressive tones” as they didn't want children and families to hear swear words at the event.

“We have not banned rap music as such,” he told SMH. “I think what happened is the link was made that rap music has a lot of swear words, has offensive language and has this tone about it. Any music that has that kind of flavour to it will not be played.

“If there’s rap music that’s quite pleasant and there’s no offensive language, they can play it, that’s not an issue.”

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon, who is commanding the operation, said that police had not asked for a ban on rap music.

“There is no ban on the playing of rap music. We haven’t asked for a ban on the playing of rap music,” he said.

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The statement comes despite Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith saying earlier this week that the Comancheros, KVT and Mount Druitt drill rap group ONEFOUR were among the reasons behind the rap music ban, before sensationally claiming that artists were being paid by the notorious bikie gang to "lure youths into a life of crime".

"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".

It's just one of the strict new rules police will put into action when the show opens its doors on April 6 at the Sydney Showground, with lighting now being increased and the event will now finish up at the new time of 9.30 pm.

Police also said that anyone being "anti-social" will be immediately evicted and the event, and have set up Strike Force APACE in order to identify "dangerous individuals" linked to Sydney's postcode wars and ban them from attending the event, with Smith adding, “Community safety is our number one priority – and with that in mind – police will be out in numbers at the show."

He added, “The message is simple: anyone looking for trouble is not welcome, and will be dealt with accordingly.”