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Saturday, June 12, 2021

Canberra parties as Spilt Milk turns sour

Festival attendees have taken to social media to complain about a set from American rapper YG at Canberra’s Spilt Milk music festival on Saturday 17 November.

Complaints on social media alleged the rapper had demanded that women expose themselves to him before he would continue playing, and started chants demanding women in the crowd “show their titties”, before then criticising their bodies.

Twenty-year-old James Murphy was in the crowd for YG’s set, and said the “whole set was horrible”.

“He genuinely yelled at one of the girls for about a solid minute until she gave into the pressure.”

He said the rapper had then proceeded to comment on the woman’s “mosquito bites”.

Mr Murphy said the crowd started to boo, and a lot of the people around him were “visibly uncomfortable”.

“I was only with my girlfriend but she was very uncomfortable with what was going on,” he said.

Kicks Entertainment, the promoters of the festival, apologised in a statement on Tuesday.

“The comments made by YG on stage were not okay. When this behaviour goes unchallenged, we are part of the problem, not the solution. We thank the courageous people who have voiced their feelings, so this disrespectful and predatory behaviour is exposed for what it is,” the statement said.

“YG’s comments in no way reflect the values of Spilt Milk and contradict our goals of a safe and inclusive space for all attendees. We cannot, and will never, control an artist’s performance, but we will continue to focus our bookings on forward-thinking artists that share our values.”

An estimated 30,000 people packed into Commonwealth Park for the third Spilt Milkin as many years, which featured a number of Australian and international acts, including Canberra duo Peking Duck who closed out the festival.

ACT Policing confirmed one person was arrested on the day, with three others taken into custody. A total of eight tablets were seized, suspected of being narcotics.

While Commonwealth Park played host to Spilt Milk on Saturday, Canberrans were also enjoying the sold-out Anthems concert at the National Arboretum and Yes!Fest on Lonsdale Street, Braddon.

Hailed a success, there are now calls to turn the Yes!Fest street party into Canberra’s very own Mardi Gras in 2019, with Braddon businesses backing the idea.

The Braddon United Retailers and Traders (BURT) say there is a demand for the event and have suggested a portion of proceeds from next year could be invested back into the event and into other causes important to the LGBTQI community.

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