Due to what can only be assumed are poor ticket sales the Odd Future (OFWGKTA) Big Day Out sideshow in Melbourne has been moved from The Palace to The Hi-Fi, a drop in capacity of around half. The band last came to Australia mid-2011 and sold out their venues in record time with many punters trying to beat down the doors for more tickets.
Now however crowds are singing a very different tune with many fans simply moving on or turning away due to the backlash over the groups behaviour and lyrics, such as Tyler, The Creators recent on stage flip out where he destroyed the sound desk at LA’s famous Roxy Theatre on Sunset Boulevard. Since their last visit Odd Future and frontman Tyler, The Creator have been embroiled in scandal after scandal that quite possibly has alienated a large amount of their support base.
At least their ticket sales seem to indicate a downward trend in their popularity. Back in May the group sold out three dates at The Studio in the Sydney Opera House giving them a combined capacity across the three dates of 1800 tickets. Those tickets sold like hotcakes so it isn’t any wonder that the Big Day Out decided this time around to put the group at The Enmore Theatre, which has a capacity of 1800, or 2500 if you include the seated balcony.
But rather than run out the door tickets for the show are still readily available from Ticketek, and even despite halving the groups capacity in Melbourne tickets are also still readily available for that show. It does leave you wondering how many tickets the group has actually sold all up.
The distaste for the band began when frontman Tyler, The Creator lashed out at Sara Quin from Tegan & Sara saying “If Tegan And Sara Need Some Hard Dick, Hit Me Up!” after she accused the group of misogynistic and homophobic ranting. In an open letter the indie singer wrote:
Why should I care about this music or its “brilliance” when the message is so repulsive and irresponsible? If any of the bands whose records are held in similar esteem as Goblin had lyrics littered with rape fantasies and slurs, would they be labeled hate mongers? I’ve asked myself a thousand times why this is pushing me over the edge.
Maybe it’s because my mom has spent her whole adult life working with teenage girls who were victims of sexual assault. Maybe it’s because in this case I don’t think race or class actually has anything to do with his hateful message but has EVERYTHING to do with why everyone refuses to admonish him for that message.
The group also caught the ire of super producer Steve Albini who has been the producer of acts such as PJ Harvey, the Pixies and Nirvana. After coincidentally catching an airport bus with group he dubbed them ‘little pricks’ for their behaviour; which included swearing, abusing passengers and smoking dope on board, saying that by the end of the short journey he wanted to ‘strangle them’.
But things really came to a head when it was reported that freelance photographer Amy Harris was assaulted by Odd Future member Vyron Turner, aka Left Brain, at an event in New Orleans. The incident happened during the groups set where members proceeded to verbally and physically assault members of the press who were covering the event.
Although at the time Harris declined to press charges she swiftly changed her mind after the groups publicist issued a statement that denied the incident took place saying “To manipulate the situation to insinuate an attack on a woman specifically is careless and manipulative. There simply is no truth to the accusation floating around the internet.”
The attack happened to coincide with the announcement that Odd Future would be added to this years Big Day Out lineup, unfortnate timing to say the least and a catalyst for a group of activists to successfully petition the venue operators in New Zealand where Big Day Out is held to demand the group be pulled from the festival. Odd Future are now instead playing a sideshow in Auckland but won’t actually be appearing at the festival.
Obviously there have been numerous groups through out the years who have stirred controversy and challenged social norms. But Odd Future go one step further. Is there really any place in today’s day and age for a group that sings and glorifies rape? I don’t think so.
Now that the sheen seems to have well and truly worn off will this nightmare finally be over and will this group simply fade back into obscurity? Sound off in the comments and let us know what you think.