NewsWritten by Emmy Mack on August 10, 2018
True to their word, the organisers of Byron Bay Bluesfest have personally apologised to the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor for comparing her comment about their male-dominated first lineup announcement to the rise of Nazi Germany.
ICYMI: Jewish woman Simone Genziuk commented on the festival’s Facebook post announcing their first batch of artists for 2019, saying: “Looks like a sausage fest, where’s the chicks?”
Festival boss Peter Noble then unleashed at her, responding from the event’s official FB account: “Attacking events without doing any research on them and starting a media campaign based on your own isms and schisms is the sort of thing that worked well in Nazi Germany.
“Find someone to attack because you have a screw loose,” he continued. “Bet you are an under or underemployed white privileged nobody with too much time on your hands. Going nowhere fast into a life of depression and loneliness due to you having nothing meaningful to justify why you continue to breathe.”
Speaking with the ABC, Genzuik says she was shocked that her “cheeky” comment triggered such an outburst.
“My dad is a Holocaust child — they term children of Holocaust survivors as ‘Holocaust children’ because of the trauma of being brought up by people who had their families murdered and their possessions destroyed by the Nazis,” she revealed.
“It was very hurtful and I don’t think this is something you’re allowed to just throw around, the term Nazi.”
Noble later owned up to the rant, confessing that he was the one who wrote the comment and promising to apologise to the woman privately.
“After working from 5am to 11.30pm that night I exploded on someone,” he admitted to the Herald Sun. “I shouldn’t have done it, I will contact that person and apologise….
“I shouldn’t have said that to that person, I know that, I was just tired of being abused,” he continued.
“I had no right to say that to that one person. I’m ashamed of what I did.”
And he’s since made good on his word, privately DM-ing Genziuk to say sorry.
Genzuik tells the ABC she received the following reply on Facebook:
“On behalf of Bluesfest, we deeply apologise for offending you with our responses on this Facebook message chain.
We value all opinions with the utmost respect, and regret that our responses to you didn’t reflect these values.
We apologise unreservedly for the tone and poor choices in our response to you, and we also apologise to your family and any others we have offended.
We know there are no excuses at all, and as such we don’t want to defend our poor choices in our response to you, other than to say sorry after the fact.
You have the right to an opinion and should be able to share that right without an offensive response.
Yours sincerely, Bluesfest.”
Of the 26 artists announced in the first lineup for next year’s Bluesfest, only four featured women: Kasey Chambers, Irish Mythen, Larken Poe and I’m With Her.
Boss Peter Noble has remained locked in a war of the words with activist group LISTEN, who’ve been spearheading the backlash over the festival’s bill.