The Herd boycott coal festival
The Herd have canceled their show tonight at the "Coal to Coast" festival in Sarina in central Queensland after fans sent a flurry of messages on email, facebook and twitter protesting their appearence at the coal-sponsored gig. The Herd, who were the headline act, pulled out of the event and replied to posts on their website with a statement that the band ‘would never knowingly get involved in an event that supports the coal industry’.
While The Herd's fans in Sarina will be disappointed, the band's last minute cancellation is a powerful delegitimisation of coal companies' attempts to appear community friendly and a strong signal of increasing public rejection of the impacts of the coal industry.
The Herd made their stance on the impacts of the coal industry clear:
"We believe that alternatives in energy production as well as employment should be prioritised as a matter of urgency. Climate change is the biggest crisis facing the planet. Coal is a major polluter. It’s pretty simple.’
The cancellation of the gig is also an example of the effectiveness of social media in creating real outcomes. After one fan became aware that the band were playing in the coal sponsored event and facebooked it on Thursday morning, word spread like widefire on twitter and facebook resulting in many messages and emails to the band. By Thursday evening the story was featured on Triple J's current affairs show 'Hack', on which the band announced that they were pulling out.