All The Dates We Could Celebrate The Hottest 100 On That Aren’t January 26

A letter to triple j.

Over the last few years, triple j’s Hottest 100 has found itself the focus of one of the most heated debates in the country.

The debate — over whether to move the poll from its current controversial date of January 26, i.e. Australia Day — has attracted a whole lot of fierce opinions, and it’s something the station can no longer ignore. While shifting the date would be a political statement, not moving it is arguably an even bigger one.

Two days ago, triple j took its biggest step yet towards changing the date by launching an online poll to gauge listener’s feelings on the potential move.

Since then, debate has erupted all over again, with musicians and former triple j presenters throwing their support behind the change.

So if triple j does decide to shake up the Hottest 100, what date should they move it to? We’ve got a few ideas.

March 5, The Anniversary Of The First Ever Hottest 100

Back in 1988, a bright radio producer called Lawrie Zion had the idea of polling triple j’s listeners to determine their 100 favourite songs of all time.

It was a ramshackle process, with people scribbling their entries on the back of envelopes to send to the station — some more enterprising fans famously sent in their picks on the back of joints and paintings. But out of the madness formed the first ever Hottest 100, held on March 5, 1989.

Holding the poll on its own anniversary seems like a pretty solid idea, right?

January 19, The Anniversary Of The First Triple J Broadcast

On January 19, 1975, the station then called Double J sputtered into life.

Over many decades and expansions and rebrands, the youth broadcaster now stands as one of our best-loved stations, responsible for shaping musical tastes of generations and launching the careers of some of our most famous artists.

So why not hold their biggest event of the year on a date which would honour that contribution?

The Last Saturday In January

Yesterday, former triple j breakfast presenter Matt Okine appeared on ABC News Breakfast to throw his support behind the #ChangeTheDate campaign. He also offered up a potential new date: the last Saturday in January.

“The last Saturday in January works just as well,” he argued. “I mean, the only people who are going to miss out are people playing Saturday sports, and a few people who have to work on Saturdays.

“But there’s always going to be someone who misses out, and I’d prefer it for it not to be Indigenous Australians to feel disenfranchised by something that’s supposed to be all inclusive.”

May 8

You should know this by now. May 8. Mayyyyy 8. Maaaaaaate.

January 13, The Anniversary of #Tay4Hottest100

Ah, who could forget the Great Taylor Swift Uproar Of 2015?

In January 2015, Buzzfeed published an article urging people to vote Taylor Swift’s song ‘Shake It Off’ into the countdown. The idea took off, and suddenly #Tay4Hottest100 was all anybody could talk about.

Social media was alight with Swifties posting their votes, while triple j listeners angrily attempted to defend the purity of their poll from mainstream music.

In the end, of course, triple j spectacularly shut it down by posting a Buzzfeed-inspired listicle outlining the reasons for Swift’s ultimate disqualification.

The fallout was ludicrous. Sportsbet had to refund punters to the tune of over $10,000, while The Guardian even submitted a Freedom of Information request to the ABC regarding its response. It was a weird time.

… Literally Any Other Date

Let’s just get some perspective here. We are arguing about the date of an online poll.

It’s a list. A great, brilliant, and entertaining list — but a list nonetheless.

If your love of music and the poll is that immense, then it shouldn’t matter what date it happens on. And given January 26 is a date that causes considerable pain for a lot of Australians, and if we can ease that pain by simply moving the poll, then why wouldn’t we?

If Australia can do something, however small, to show solidarity and respect, then we absolutely must. It’s called being a decent fucking human being.

The end.

Jules LeFevre is Staff Writer for Music Junkee and inthemix. She is on Twitter.