OneFour’s National Tour Officially Cancelled With Evidence Of Venue Intimidation By Police
"Making and performing music is not a crime."
Yesterday OneFour took to social media to announce the official cancellation of their national tour.
Amid growing pressures from the police, the popular Western Sydney rap group were forced to call off their highly anticipated concert across Australia.
In their statement to Instagram and Facebook the group wrote: “Making and performing music is not a crime.”
“Our fans have never caused any issue at our concerts. So why can’t you see us perform?,” they continued. “And when they tell you you’ve got to make a better future for yourself why do they want to trap you in your past?”
In the statement, the group also thanked their fans and announced a new single set to release in January. “We’ll keep it moving forward,” OneFour wrote. “Much love to all the people who have stood up and shouted out their support.”
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Our entire national tour has now been cancelled. Our fans have never caused any issue at our concerts. So why can’t you see us perform? Making and performing music is not a crime. And when they tell you you’ve got to make a better future for yourself why do they want to trap you in your past? New single out in January. We’ll keep it moving forward. Much love to all the people who have stood up and shouted out their support. Sold Out in Auckland December 5th. Playing for West Sydney and beyond.
The tour shutdown follows the cancellation of the group’s Melbourne and Adelaide shows earlier this week. With the ABC reporting that police believe the Western Sydney rap group are connected to ongoing turf wars, which could put concert-goers at risk.
OneFour’s management believed that police were communicating this information to venues to “pressure” them to cancel shows, accusing police of using a “singularly youth-focused, ‘fear-based’ censorship strategy.”
“It sets a dangerous precedent [with] police ultimately determining which artists can and can’t play at music venues in Australia,” OneFour’s management told ABC. “NSW Police also risk the perception that they have an inherent, in-built bias against youth and disadvantaged communities.”
The way OneFour are being treated is unfair & bullshit. Let the boys play. Let them thrive and be great. https://t.co/zwKHs1sQrw
— Senator Briggs (@Briggs) November 24, 2019
In a letter obtained by Hack, the Victoria Police communicated that they had “received information and [held] concerns” regarding the scheduled Melbourne concert. The police cited concerns with OneFour’s “affiliation with members of interstate gangs.”
“These gangs have been involved in multiple shootings, stabbings, brawls and serious assaults in New South Wales,” they wrote.
The Victorian Police then threatened a potential inquiry into the venues liquor license to increase pressure to cancel the concert.
“Please be advised that if incidents of violence and disorder continue to occur at your premises after having been warned of these concerns, consideration will be given to making an application to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation to vary, suspend or cancel the licence,” they said.
cancelling onefour shows is bigger than blocking a bag for some rappers, you’re telling so many brown kids they cant beat the odds
— Abdul Kay (@abdulxkay) November 26, 2019
In a statement reported by the ABC, the Victoria Police confirm they did in fact send a letter but stand by that decision. “Community safety is Victoria Police’s number one priority and we make no apologies for this,” a spokesperson said.
“Any decision to postpone, cancel or proceed with individual events are made by the event organiser and/or venue operator,” they concluded.
As it currently stands, OneFour are still scheduled to play their sold out Auckland show where they plan on “playing for West Sydney and beyond.”