As recently reported on Triple J’s Hack, the WA Government has recently announced sponsorship of an outdoor music festival to stop them from promoting and selling cigarettes at the event. The money that the government has offered is compensation to the event organisers who will not be allowing Tobacco companies to sell their product at the event and will also be making the event Smoke-Free offering punters lolly-pops as an alternative.
This has raised the topic of smoking tents at bigger festivals such as Homebake, Big Day Out and The Falls Festival.
The most contentious part of the discussion is that the ‘merchants of death’ are promoting their product with funky lounge-chaired tents with boppy music and bright lights.
Not that bright lights and dance music are necessarily going to make people want to smoke, but the point is, should a festival be taking money from Tobacco companies to sell cigarettes at an event? From all reports they pay a pretty penny to set up their tents and market their evil product.
What ever happened to the ban on cigarette advertising? Isn’t this just a sneaky way for them to get around it and promote their product?
Until this topic was raised I had never thought about the smoking tents at The Big Day Out. I just presumed they were part of the promoters sales and they would make money on it. The main issue I have is when people smoke in the mosh pit. When you have 5000 people crammed into a spot the size of a football field the last thing you want is for your gasps of fresh air to be filled with toxic fumes.
As much as I hate smoking, I think that making an event such as the Big Day Out smoke free is probably going too far, although I think a Mosh Pit ban would be worthwhile.
Should promoters be accepting money from Tobacco companies to sell their products on site? I have to agree with the comments made on the radio today. Promoting a product that kills over 20,000 people a year at a youth-targeted event is irresponsible and greedy.
Get rid of it Ken West.