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Bluesfest changes its tune on Sticky Fingers

Byron Bay Bluesfest has changed its tune on Sticky Fingers, announcing the controversial band is out of its line-up.

Controversy has surrounded the band over frontman Dylan Frost's behaviour, with Indigenous Australian singer-songwriter Thelma Plum in 2016 accusing him of threatening behaviour towards her.

In February, Melbourne band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard as well as rapper and songwriter Sampa The Great both cancelled their performances at Bluesfest over the band's inclusion.

"We apologise to those artists, sponsors and any others we involved in this matter through our mistaken belief that forgiveness and redemption are the rock on which our society is built," Bluesfest said in a statement released on Thursday.

Byron Bay Bluesfest's director has staunchly defended Sticky Fingers and argued the band deserves a chance at rehabilitation.

"The narrative that they continue to deserve to be cancelled, as well as anyone who publicly supports them, is difficult to accept, wherein a portion of society and media passes eternal judgement toward those, in this case, a diagnosed mentally ill person whom we feel doesn't deserve the continued public scrutiny he's being given," the statement reads.

Sticky Fingers announced a hiatus from 2017, with Frost revealing he was diagnosed with bipolar schizophrenia and would be attending rehabilitation and therapy.

The Bluesfest organisers also thanked people who had offered support, "especially those suffering from a mental illness who feel they cannot have their illness supported in a manner whereby they feel included in society".

"Sticky Fingers has done so many good deeds that have never been reported, including building and funding recording studios and music education programs in disadvantaged regional communities," they said.

But the six-piece rock band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard has previously said cancelling its Bluesfest appearance was a statement of the band's values, saying it stood against misogyny, racism, transphobia and violence.

It's not the only event hit by cancellations of late: Adelaide Writers' Week has seen writers and sponsors withdraw over controversial online comments by two of its authors.