Rock the Gate

Some of the biggest names in the Australian entertainment industry came together to support rural communities uniting to protect their farmlands from fracking and unconventional gas mining. The venue was Sydney’s iconic music venue, The Enmore Theatre, and the event was so huge it expanded into a vibrant street party along the Enmore Rd precinct with five other halls, plus cafes and businesses, all supporting Rock The Gate. 

On the bill was Australia’s popular singer-songwriter Pete Murray, iconic hip hop act The Herd, blues guitar award winner Ash Grunwald, rock legends Tex Perkins, queen of the Australian roots scene Natalie Pa’apa’a from Blue King Brown, US roots stars Nahko and Trevor Hall and indigenous dub act Diesel n’ Dub, along with comedians, dancers and slam poets. Most importantly, the event also held space to hear from community members who have been affected by the fracking industry, along with speakers from Lock the Gate alliance. The event was live webcast to rural communities and people across Australia and the world.

It feels pretty incredible to be on the opposite side of the globe and still be coming together with artists and musicians who care deeply about the impacts of extraction, and the human rights violations against indigenous people. SO many voices came together to really communicate some important and lesser-known information about fracking to local Australians, while creating a spirited vibe of action and celebration in our unity. Plus, the music was completely awesome.

That's all of us onstage for the finale singing 'Beds are Burning' by Midnight Oil, which, in addition to being a pretty sweet karaoke song, is also is a powerful protest song about giving native Australian lands back to the Pintupi, who were among the very last people to come in from the Gibson Desert to settlements and missions in the 1930s. More were forcibly moved during the 1950s and 1960s to thePapunya settlement. In 1981, they left to return to their own country and established the Kintore community, which is one of the lyrics in the song.