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Why Do We Continue To Embarrass Ourselves With Our Treatment Of International Artists

28 September 2022 | 10:57 am | Parry Tritsiniotis

Tove Lo got an ice cube thrown at her head, Billie Eilish who is famous for being sober got asked about shoeys, major festivals have been embarrassed by crowd chants. It's time for a cultural reset.

Much was said about the treatment of some of our first big international acts as they entered Australia for Splendour In The Grass. Crowd chants caused a sea of controversy, with many punters embarrassed by the way in which Australian fans treat international artists.

In the past week a few more incidents have popped up in regards to our treatment of international artists. Tove Lo took to TikTok this morning to report that she had been hit in the head by an Ice Cube while on stage at Perth's Listen Out which was thrown by a fan. 

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"I'm in Australia playing a bunch of festivals and headline shows... I was playing a festival in Perth, it was really fun the crowd was great a lot of energy. We were playing at sunset, so it got dark during my set..." the video opens.

"In the middle of the set someone threw an ice cube at me and it hit me (gestures to the side of her face). It could have hit my eye. People get excited, stuff happens but it felt like the person aimed at me and wanted to hit me. Already when you're performing there are a lot of feelings and there's already so much going on inside you. When I felt that I had this moment of absolute rage...

"I was looking down into the crowd where I felt it coming from and this group of guys were pointing at this other guy saying that he did it. I just stared at him and kept going. I couldn't let it go for the rest of the song and I put it out of my brain and kept the show going.

"If i say something more is he going to throw more ice at me or will more people start throwing shit at me. What's the move there? To ignore it and keep going or stop the music...

"What do you do in that moment? So please don't start throwing things at me. Nobody's ever aimed at me and hit me before."

To conclude she said, "it felt very purposeful."

Last week Billie Eilish conducted an interview and was asked whether she's ever done a shoey. The interviewer described it as a "right of passage" in Australia (which it isn't). Eilish staunchely replied saying that "she doesn't drink," which is already a huge part of her brand. "We could do a water," he asks and Eilish responded saying, "I don't need to drink out of my shoe right now."

While yes, many would say it really isn't that deep, the interview perfectly reflects the world's perception of Australia and our interaction with artists. Australia is still known as being a place where people scull beers and are larrikins and a big reason for that perception is the way in which mainstream media outlets represent our country. 

At Splendour In The Grass many fans commented on the embarrassing crowd chants that rang throughout major artist slots, mainly to do with calling for major artists (that are famously sober) to do shoeys. Between Tyler, The Creator's biggest songs crowds screamed shoey, showcasing that they were clearly not there to enjoy one of the most heralded global tours, but instead to use the artist as a robotic object for their weirdly manifesting desire of entertainment.

Jack Harlow also fell victim to the heckling with fans insisting he do a shoey even after he denied the request. He said, “Never thought I’d need a translation in Australia. I still have no fucking clue what you’re saying.”

“Y’all know I don’t drink right. I hope you’re not asking me to drink. You think I came to Australia to get peer pressured? Fuck outta here man.” 

As we turn to a huge summer festival circuit, let's hope that our Australian festival culture doesn't continue to cause universal cringe.