Fans have slammed the AFL for scheduling the band Birds of Tokyo to perform prior to the traditional Anzac Day game next week.
The band will perform three songs, in addition to a performance from the Australian Army Band before the bounce.
Media personality Andy Maher was among many to criticise the move, with some fans labelling the decision to have a rock band perform on what is otherwise seen as a solemn day ‘out of touch’.
Surely this day needs none of this.
— Andy Maher (@AndyMaherDFA) April 19, 2019
“Surely the day needs none of this,” Maher tweeted.
Many of the other responses to the AFL’s announcement were equally negative.
Has their been an AFL administration more out of touch with the game ??? Entertainment on Anzac Day .. The powerful message of remembrance and respect is surely all that is needed #spellmegill
— Justin Graham (@JustinGraham23) April 19, 2019
nothing weird about the way the afl uses anzac day as branding, no sir
— ben (@cola_liker) April 19, 2019
There’s a time and place for entertainment at the footy and Anzac Day is not one of them @AFL
— Nittaya (@Miss_N159) April 19, 2019
No. This is a just wrong. ANZAC Day is for remembrance and reflection. It’s not a celebration. The atmosphere at the ground pre-game is magical. What is wrong with you?? @AFL @AFL_House @CollingwoodFC @essendonfc #ANZAC
— Lindy Bassett (@lindybassett) April 18, 2019
Do we really need "entertainment" on this day – its a day we pay respect to those that gave the ultimate sacrifice – get a grip @AFL
— Greg Horton (@lesswan29) April 18, 2019
Nothing against the band at all; this just doesn’t sit right with the tone of the day. It’s about paying respect to the fallen, not entertainment.
— Cheryl Critchley (@CherylCritchley) April 18, 2019
Birds of Tokyo drummer Adam Weston, who is also a member of the Collingwood football club, said the band’s experience playing at the Invictus Games last year motivated them to accept this offer.
“Being involved in the Invictus Games last year really reminded us of the importance of remembering fallen soldiers and recognising those who have served,” he told AFL.com.au.
“Australia’s biggest sporting stage will no doubt be at capacity to respect our returned and current serving defence personnel and we are pleased to be part of it.
“As a Collingwood member, the annual Anzac Day match at the MCG is always nothing short of breathtaking and I’m sure it will be an experience to remember for the whole band.”
Bombers pull selection switch
Essendon star Joe Daniher will play against North Melbourne on Good Friday after the Bombers made a stunning late change to their side for the Marvel Stadium AFL clash.
Daniher, who was not named in the club’s initial squad and was set to play in the VFL on Saturday, will play his first match since round seven last season after overcoming groin and calf injuries.
The AFL confirmed Essendon will be fined for including Daniher because he wasn’t one of three emergencies listed for the round five match.