Earlier this week, Kirk apologized to the affected artists, but confirmed that the board would not return the embassy sponsorship money. He promised “a full and independent review of public money taking processes”.
“We hope this review will help us never put artists in the situation we put them in this year where they felt pressured or compromised into withdrawing their acts,” Kirk said. The Sydney Morning Herald. “We are very sorry that we have done this to artists, and we accept that it needs to be better.”
But boycott co-organizer Fahad Ali, who said the boycott would be lifted once sponsorship returned, questioned the festival’s insistence on keeping the money.
“Why not end the sponsorship now as they have acknowledged that this decision has put artists in a compromising position?” he said. “If it has had the effect of making artists feel compromised and insecure, why do artists remain in danger?”
Law has been contacted for further comment.