There are concerns the cancellation of two highly anticipated rap shows will ignite simmering tensions between Sydney-based rap groups and NSW Police.
On Friday, Western Sydney rap group The 046 announced they had been forced to cancel their upcoming performances in Sydney and Wollongong due to security requirements imposed by police.
“Due to reasons beyond our control, our upcoming Sydney and Wollongong shows have been cancelled due to NSW police putting additional security costs to the point where we would be losing significant money by going ahead with the show,” the group said in a statement.
“To say that we are disappointed is an understatement – we know our fans will share those feelings and we are sorry.”
The 046 had been set to perform at Wollongong’s UniBar on August 19 and Sydney’s Oxford Art Factory on August 25 as part of their national tour.
The venues were advised by NSW Police that additional security was strongly recommended in order for the shows to proceed.
The additional measures would have to be paid for by the show organisers, which The 046 revealed they could not afford to do.
The group of four, who have been hailed as “West Sydney’s most exciting rap powerhouse”, said refunds would be issued for fans who had already purchased their tickets to the show.
“We were looking forward to showing the authorities that our music and our shows are about celebrating and uplifting our community – but that opportunity has been taken from us,” the band said.
“We will not be deterred by this setback”.
The 046 describe their music as part of the exploding Australian hip-hop scene with influences from Snoop Dogg and Tupac.
Their songs have attracted millions of online streams and hundreds of thousands of fans across the country.
The cancellation of their NSW shows comes amid increasing concerns of a nanny state in NSW, after police confirmed last year it would ask streaming services to crack down on music which incited violence.
Police said they believed drill rap, a gritty subgenre of hip hop, could be used to inflame Sydney’s ‘postcode wars’ and encourage violence between factions.
The announcement came after a drill rap group ONEFOUR had shows cancelled by venues after police raised concerns about violence.
The interference by NSW Police was condemned as censorship by many in the music industry.
NSW Police and Liquor and Gaming NSW have been contacted for comment.