NZ Artist Fined, Pulled From Laneway After “Kissing A Cop’s Gun”

New Zealand artist Silicon has been fined and pulled from the Laneway Festival bill following an incident at the Adelaide leg, in which he somehow kissed a policeman’s gun – which is apparently illegal.

The artist, real name Kody Nielson (and incidentally the brother of Ruban Nielson of Unknown Mortal Orchestra,) took to Twitter to voice his side of the story, and apologise to fans, because it looks like he won’t be performing at of the remaining Laneway festivals, including today’s event in Brisbane, and tomorrow’s in Sydney.

Nielsen then continued to cast judgement on Australia’s immigration policies, because y’know, that’s relevant.


Two things. Firstly am I the only one who has been really confused by the logistics of this story? How did he get that close to a policeman – and their gun, no less? Was it on stage? Who else was there? How did it play out exactly?

Secondly, while I’m as big a fan of Silicon as any (you can read Howl & Echoes’ stellar review of his recent album Personal Compter right here) this was a really dumb move.

It’s pointlessly provocative and completely unnecessary. It’s not cool or interesting, and guns sure as hell aren’t cool either. Police are at the event to ensure the safety and security of punters, and while we’re hardly suggesting that Australia isn’t a nanny state right now, this is just stupid and thoughtless. Police carry guns everywhere – not just festivals, so it’s not like it was a stab at the festival’s hyper-security. It doesn’t achieve anything, it doesn’t highlight anything or change anything. It’s Nielson’s own fault for acting out, and causing hundreds of fans to miss catching him live on the festival’s remaining legs.

Admittedly, I disagree with the festival’s needless decision to kick him off the entire tour circuit, he’s got nobody to blame but himself – certainly not the police or “Lameway.”

Anyway, Laneway continues today, with or without Silicon in tow. Full details can be found here.

Image: Twitter