Music

Sigur Ros Have Spoken Out Against Margaret Court Ahead Of Their Melbourne Show

"Let’s make this Margaret Court Arena’s most inclusive night ever and call for every Australian to have the same dignity and respect right here on centre court."

Margaret Court

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Sigur Rós are set to perform at Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena this September. But, ahead of their visit, the Icelandic group have released a poignant statement about her recent discriminatory comments regarding same-sex marriage.

Citing their own country’s acceptance of gay rights including same sex marriage, they pointed out that Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Iceland’s then-Prime Minister, was the world’s first openly gay prime minister and among the first to marry under Iceland’s laws. Iceland has recognised same sex partnerships since 1996 and same sex marriage since 2010.

They went to acknowledge that they “know Margaret Court’s opinions are not shared by the majority of Australians”, and that “Australia should be a country that celebrates positivity and inclusion, as well as achievement on the sporting field.”

Sigur Ros are not the first act slated for Margaret Court Arena to speak out against the tennis great. When Court first made her comments, Ryan Adams condemned them and released a statement ahead of his Melbourne show in support of marriage equality. He was then joined by Grinspoon.

“Marriage equality is a simple human right, it shouldn’t even be debated,” Phil Jamieson told Music Junkee. “Now that she’s written to a newspaper and spouted it out loud, she deserves to be told by the people playing her arena that they oppose what she stands for. Vehemently.”

Sigur Ros will also be selling a special edition t-shirt during their Australian tour, with proceeds going toward supporting marriage equality in Australia.

Read their full statement here:

Dear Melbourne,

Since we formed Sigur Rós some 20 years ago, we have been lucky enough to visit Australia seven times. We’re very much looking forward to our eighth visit this July. 

We are currently in the middle of our worldwide tour, playing more than 130 shows and visiting 39 countries. Along the way we have played some of the world’s finest venues, and we’re finishing with a residence at the Harpa Concert Hall in our home town of Reykjavík, Iceland at the end of this year.

Our next Melbourne show is set to take place on July 27 at Margaret Court Arena. Our fans and friends have made us aware of recent comments by Margaret Court regarding her opposition to Qantas’s support of same-sex marriage in Australia, and her wider views on race and sexuality.

Iceland is a country where same-sex partnerships have been recognised since 1996, and where same-sex couples have enjoyed the same adoption rights as straight couples since 2006. Same-sex marriages were unanimously approved in our parliament in 2010 (our then prime minister, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, was the world’s first openly gay PM, and one of the very first Icelanders to be married under this legislation). We are also happy to say that since 2008 the Church of Iceland, and all other religions, were officially granted permission to bless same-sex unions.

We know Margaret Court’s opinions are not shared by the majority of Australians. We want to add our voice to the call for marriage equality in Australia — right here on Margaret Court Arena itself. Australia should be a country that celebrates positivity and inclusion, as well as achievement on the sporting field.

We’ve decided to commission a special tee-shirt for this Melbourne show, which we’ll also sell at our Sydney show and at Splendour in The Grass, proceeds from which will go towards support of Australian Marriage Equality. 

Let’s make July 27 Margaret Court Arena’s most inclusive night ever and call for every Australian to have the same dignity and respect right here on centre court.

Takk fyrir,

Sigur Rós

Sigur Ros are playing Sydney and Melbourne July 25 and 26 respectively.