Although the group has yet to be removed from its roster, there's mounting pressure facing organizers of Australia's WOMADelaide music festival to remove the act Swamp Thing. The drummer's teenage son (and occasional band member) is notorious for internet trolling, including targeting Amanda Todd, the Canadian teenager who committed suicide last October due to bullying. She was 15.
According to Adelaide Now, Swamp Thing — consisting of Grant Haua and former Split Enz and John Butler Trio member and drummer Michael Barker (and occasionally his son Tristan) — were confirmed to play the the Adelaide event. However, things may change following news over the weekend of Tristan's caustic, hate-filled tweets, Facebook posts and YouTube posts over the years, including tweets about Amanda Todd.
After Todd's death made headlines internationally, Tristan Barker posted a 10-minute rant on YouTube regarding the incident about "another teenage girl's slutty histrionic behavior" and how she made a "sad flashcard video on YouTube complaining about how she was bullied." Barker also said Todd was "pretty much running an illegal child porn service through a web cam show just to satisfy her own desire for attention." The vitriolic rant by Barker continues for another five minutes.
In the past, Barker also made similar posts and tweets regarding the victims in the Aurora, Colorado shooting last year, barbs towards Muslims and Jews and even Jill Meagher, a Melbourne resident who was murdered last year. Barker, considered Australia's "worst Internet troll" is being investigated by the police over his Internet comments.
"I am disgusted, this is disgraceful that he would question why a young girl killed herself when he doesn't even know her," Ruben Cunningham of the anti-bullying charity Angel's Goal told Adelaide Now. "He shouldn't be allowed to play at an event sponsored by government organizations."
WOMADelaide is supported by the Government of South Australia and Adelaide's city council.
Festival organizers still have the band slated to perform at the event which runs from March 8 - 11 but sponsors of the event are also meeting with them regarding news of the Swamp Thing's performance and Barker.