Wollombi Music Festival has banned all Wicked Campers from their event, calling the company’s owner a “sociopath” and describing the vans’ slogans as “pathetically unfunny and misogynistic” in a public statement.
Wollombi Music Festival promoter Adrian Buckley issued the following statement:
As a festival we’ve worked hard to not only grow as an event but also as an event dedicated to doing good things in and beyond our community.
We’re great believers in embracing inclusivity and diversity at Wollombi and creating a space where everyone can feel comfortable, safe and enjoy themselves. Love is the driving value of Wollombi. Love for music, love for the arts and love for each other.
For years we’ve had concerns about any Wicked Campers turning up at the festival with some of their pathetically unfunny and misogynistic slogans splattered across its panels. We’ve actively discouraged people from hiring them and encouraged patrons to look elsewhere, but this year we’ve decided to ban them full-stop. Not just if a van has a demeaning slogan. If ANY Wicked Camper turns up at the fest they won’t be welcome.
We know other events like Splendour have voiced their opposition, but we’re not sure if any other festival has banned them outright. We know we’re small, but any impact we can have on changing the culture of demeaning and abusing women disguised as good fun or an example of free speech we will.
We want other festivals in Australia to join us and let Wicked Campers and their sociopathic owner John Webb know abuse of women has to stop and Wicked Campers needs to change.
Wicked Campers, a company which offers free hire to people who post nudes in front of their vehicles, has a long history of receiving such complaints.
Last November, South Australian Labor MP Katrine Hildyard said the vans were “utterly out of step with community standards” and called for vehicles with offensive slogans to be deregistered in the state.
In January this year, advertising watchdog Ad Standards labelled a van which read, “you’re not a woman until humans come out of your vagina and trample on your dreams” as “humiliating to women, including those that have had a caesarean delivery, do not have children, are unable to have children, or are transgender.”
While Queensland and Tasmania have passed laws to take vehicles off the road if the offensive messaging/imagery isn’t removed in 14 days, Queensland Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the legislation was hard to enforce in the absence of national approach.
Some citizens have taken the task of making the lewd vans more publicly acceptable into their own hands.
In 2015, John Webb ,the owner of Wicked Campers, issued the following smart arsed press release, reneging on his previous invitations to deface his fleet of offensive vehicles:
Wicked Campers would like to address the public concern surrounding its use of controversial artwork on vehicles in Australia & New Zealand.
To meet the commitments made in our prior Press Release, we employed a team of highly-intelligent, socially-conscious super monkeys to closely monitor the subject matter featured on our vehicles and scream loudly when offended.
This initiative had been code-named ‘Moral Monkey Squad’ under a carefully constructed mission statement:
‘Moral Monkey Squad are dedicated to satisfying the whims and wishes of the humour-inept, self-righteous moral majority while wearing little monkey tuxedos and funny hats’
Unfortunately, while flinging poo at one another during a recent Wicked Campers Team Building exercise, some of the monkeys were injured and thus have been rendered unable to perform their duties as servants of the morally-righteous. But don’t worry, they were swiftly euthanized and will be replaced by a new team of genetically-modified seagulls who will work for an increased, union-initiated salary of 5 hot chips per day (chicken-salt is optional). You know what they say – pay peanuts & you get monkeys. Here’s hoping the increased incentive of hot chips will serve as a driving force in ridding our company of the degenerate subject matter that has for too long tainted our good name. The Seagulls will all wear little psychedelic berets, but if this offends the colour-blind in any way we will swiftly act to change this – please email firstname.lastname@example.org if at all concerned.
Furthermore, it has become apparent that several bad-asses in the community have accepted our prior offer to repaint or cover any material they deem to be ‘offensive’ or ‘not fit for communal viewing’ by completely destroying our vehicles. Or by spraying very creative & socially-inspiring messages such as ‘dickhead’ or the repetitive use of the word ‘no’.
While this is all very inspiring and we truly appreciate the input of a very boisterous minority, Wicked Campers will, from this day 24th April 2015, be seeking to prosecute any person or persons who paint, cover or in any way damage a Wicked Camper or any property associated or belonging to Wicked Campers.
To reiterate – Wicked Campers will no longer permit individuals or groups, to in any way manipulate the artwork or general appearance of its vehicles or property. Any person or persons found to be doing so will be swiftly referred to the police/authorities.
It is generally understood that the penalty for such acts is public flogging, but we may be ill-informed in the specifics as our Legal Team consists of 3 crayon-wielding possums and one very good-looking banana.
Any concerns relating to this Press Release may be directed at email@example.com
John Webb Wicked Campers Australia & New Zealand
A petition to “end Wicked Campers mobile misogyny once and for all” has garnered over 7000 signatures in just two days.