THOUSANDS of teenagers have been given the cold shoulder by one of Australia's top hip-hop bands, The Herd, which has pulled out of Friday night's Coal to Coast Gen XY concert at Sarina showgrounds in protest over the region's coal industry.
The headline act notified Mackay Regional Council (MRC) via email of its plans to cancel just after 5pm yesterday - less than 24 hours before the band was due to hit the stage.
Thursday night, Coal to Coast organisers were not giving up without a fight.
Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre (MECC) manager Mark Fawcett and MRC festivals and events producer David Gerrand informed the band's management team that if The Herd did not front tonight, council would sue for breach of contract.
“The band's management company was most apologetic as it has no real say in The Herd's decision and has offered Australian band Spiderbait as a replacement,” Mr Fawcett said.
“This is a developing situation and I really can't tell you what the outcome will be but the Gen XY concert will go ahead.”
The Daily Mercury understands that at lunch time Thursday, a 'green' anti-mining group hit the website of The Herd calling the band 'sell outs.'
Anger was directed at the Coal To Coast Festival which the group believed was a 'front' for the mining industry.
The group claimed the entire event had been put together by Andrew Garrett, who is employed by Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (DBCT) as promotions manager.
MRC economic development councillor Dave Perkins said that was absolute rubbish.
“As chair of the committee, I have a committee made up of a broad cross-section of the community,” Cr Perkins said.
“There are only two members of the committee with links to the mining community - Andrew Garrett from DBCT and Karen McIntyre from MAIN.
“Andrew heads one of four sub-committees, the fundraising sub-committee, and while a lot of sponsorship has come from the mining industry, a huge amount has also come from non-mining organisations - including the Queensland Government.”
Cr Perkins said it was a gutless act of The Herd to bow to the 'green' group's demands.
“They would make more of a stance turning up and letting their lyrics speak.”
Thursday night The Herd declined to comment but said a statement would be on the band's website on Monday.
Festival must go on