The Wiggles do not want the Australian city to interfere with the homeless with their song
“The music of The Wiggles is created to bring joy and happiness to children and families around the world,” a spokesperson for the Australian children’s music group said in a statement, “and we are deeply disappointed that hear it used in any other. way.”
Dozens of homeless people camp out on the stage at the Graham Bricknell Music Shell and around his nearby bus stop, said Louise Giolitto, chief executive of the Social Services Council of Western Australia, a non-profit organization that promotes social equity. City of Bunbury officials previously took homeless people out of the area for a period in the fall of 2021. And this is not the first time the city has been accused of trying to send homeless people away with music – in 2016, Peter Allen said “I Go to Rio” played on loop at the band shell.
Miguel, who was elected mayor in October 2021, said that Thursday the band has been playing music constantly for about the last six months to promote crime – a trick city has been using for over a decade. In the past six years, people have set fires on the platform, he noted, and a man was charged with murder following a death at the nearby bus station in January 2021.
The speakers of the music shell played the Australian national anthem at first, Miguel said, although the songs changed from time to time. But someone broke into the control box earlier this week and turned up the volume, Miguel said. He said a suspect has not been identified.
Miguel said the city stopped the music on Thursday.
“This is a public facility, and this field is a public field. We want to make sure it’s safe for everyone who uses that,” Miguel said. “But also, of course we don’t want to cause any disturbance to people who are down there and enjoying that place. “
Cities and business owners in the United States have also been accused of using polarizing music to push out the homeless. Officials in Florida played “Baby Shark” on a loop in 2019 in a park frequented by homeless people. A Texas 7-Eleven store owner said in January he played classical music in hopes of keeping homeless people away from customers.
Some Australian officials criticized the city of Bunbury’s “Hot Potato” explosion. John Carey, Australia’s housing and homelessness minister, said in a statement that the city playing music on loop “is not a helpful way to help the most vulnerable members of our community.”
Some advocates said they believe the city was arming the Wiggles to harass the homeless. Giolitto said playing music on loop was “a form of torture” for homeless people in the area.
A homeless man who lived near the Graham Bricknell Music Shell told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that “Hot Potato” was “going round and round in my head” for two days.
While Miguel said the city doesn’t intend to promote homelessness, he said he hopes to use the publicity to garner state funding for affordable housing.
“It could give us an opportunity to lobby more and appeal to our state government for that support that we need here,” said Miguel.