“ANZAC Day is not for sale”

RSL NSW President responds to State Government plans to shelve ANZAC Day music festival.  

RSL NSW thinks the Botanic Gardens of Sydney has made the right decision to prevent a concert organiser from holding a large music concert at Sydney’s Domain on ANZAC Day. 

 RSL NSW president and former commando Mick Bainbridge, said holding a heavy metal music festival on ANZAC Day is inappropriate. 

 “We all love to have fun and live music is fantastic for Sydney, but ANZAC Day is not the day for a music festival. 

 “ANZAC Day is a day to think of the sacrifices made by the approximately 120,000 people from NSW who served overseas during WWI, as well as all who have served since.  

 “It is a day for respect and quiet contemplation.”  

 RSL NSW understands the music festival’s promoter had offered to direct a portion of ticket sales to veteran charities to gain the community’s advocacy for the event. 

  “ANZAC Day is not for sale,” Mick said. “If the organiser sincerely wants to support veterans’ wellbeing, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss how they can donate to organisations including RSL NSW and RSL LifeCare Veteran Services to do so – without compromising a day of honour and respect.”  

 Mick said that as a young veteran, he understood the appeal of a music festival on a public holiday.  

 “I love live music and the community it builds. But it has to be at the right time. We’ve seen through the Royal Commission’s hearings how important it is to protect and honour our community of veterans, and build opportunities to support each other, not tear them down. 

 “Having a day for returned servicewomen and men to come together to provide mateship and a sense of camaraderie is so powerful. It’s a time when we can remember friends that we have lost and support each other and our families through the many other personal challenges that can come with being a returned serviceman or woman.     

 Mick said that it also means a lot to veterans to know they have the support of their communities and that ANZAC Day traditions hold so much meaning for Australians (and New Zealanders) of all backgrounds, young and old. 

 “All across the country this ANZAC Day Australians will rise early to attend Dawn Services, watch them from their living room or even just pause for a moment to contemplate the sacrifice of those who have served, and this support means so much to veterans and their families.” 

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