A controversial rock concert set to play out in the centre of Sydney on Anzac Day has prompted furore from a veterans group as promoters look for another venue.
The Pandemonium concert in the Domain, headlined by rockers Alice Cooper and Placebo, was scheduled to take place near the annual Anzac Day march through the city centre.
RSL NSW president and former commando Mick Bainbridge said the concert had been approved without any consultation with the organisation and the event was inappropriate on a “day for respect and quiet contemplation”.
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Gates were due to open for the event at 11.30am on April 25 and the festival was due to finish about 11pm, according to concert organisers.
“Pandemonium is a rock fan’s (sic) dream come true, with an unparalleled line-up of rock legends,” the event’s website reads.
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NSW Premier Chris Minns on Wednesday confirmed the concert would not be going ahead as planned.
“There’s not going to be a rock concert in the middle of the city on Anzac Day,” he said.
“That part of the city should be and will be a place for diggers to commemorate with their friends and their family, and for fellow Australians to commemorate the service of those that have given their lives in the service of our country.”
Planning Minister Paul Scully confirmed the government was “working with the promoter on a solution to find an alternative location for the event”.
Concert organisers Apex Entertainment also said they were “working collaboratively with the NSW state government on a solution pertaining to the location”.
But Bainbridge said holding any rock festival on Anzac Day was inappropriate.
“We all love to have fun and live music is fantastic for Sydney, but Anzac Day is not the day for a music festival,” he said in a statement.
“Anzac Day is a day to think of the sacrifices made by the approximately 120,000 people from NSW who served overseas during World War I, as well as all who have served since.”
RSL NSW said they understood the music festival’s promoter had offered to direct a portion of ticket sales to veterans’ charities, but that would not be enough.
“Anzac Day is not for sale,” Bainbridge said.
Minns said he did not believe it would be appropriate for major rock concerts to be held anywhere in NSW on Anzac Day.
The Pandemonium festival is also due to take place in Melbourne on April 20 and in Queensland later in the same month.
Cooper previously played at Sydney’s ANZ stadium for a bushfire relief concert in 2020.