Australian rockers Wolfmother have come under fire from anti-smoking campaigners for their decision to go ahead with a gig in Indonesia despite their misgivings about the event's sponsorship by a cigarette company. The band was rumored to have pulled out of a slot at the upcoming Java Rockin' Land festival in Jakarta next month after a statement from frontman Andrew Stockdale slamming the endorsement deal with a tobacco firm was posted online.
The group's Australian agent subsequently confirmed the show would go on for the musicians, even though Stockdale initially "freaked out" when he heard about the sponsorship agreement with cigarette maker Gudang Garam.
But anti-smoking groups are not happy with the decision and have criticized Wolfmother for not making a stand against the advertising of tobacco. Simon Chapman, professor of public health at Sydney University, has also slammed the band and cited other acts, including Alicia Keys and Kelly Clarkson, who both refused to play in Indonesia unless promoters cut ties with smoking companies.
He says, "The new Wolfmother statement contrasts with the action taken by American singer Alicia Keys, who in 2008 refused to play a Jakarta tobacco gig unless all sponsorship and marketing by Philip Morris Sampoerna brand was stopped. She got her way, as did American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson this year when she sang there."