Music fans are asking Aussie promoters to boycott Melbourne venue Margaret Court Arena after a letter to the editor by the venue’s namesake was published.
In her letter, Court – now a 74-year old right-wing church leader – wrote:
“I write this as an open letter to the Qantas board and Alan Joyce as the Senior Pastor of Victory Life Church in Perth.
As you will know, I have represented Australia many times and have the proud record of never losing a tennis match while playing for my country.
I am disappointed that Qantas has become an active promoter for same-sex marriage.
I believe in marriage as a union between a man and a woman as stated in the Bible.
Your statement leaves me no option but to use other airlines where possible for my extensive travelling.
How proud I was to promote the kangaroo tail throughout the world from the Constellation days to the 380s. But unfortunately no more.
I love all people and will be pleased to talk to your board at any time. But it won’t be in the Qantas lounge.
Margaret Court, AO, MBE, Sydney.”
The tennis venue, which holds up to 7,500 people, has also become a major music venue in recent years, with a lot of acts performing there before ‘upgrading’ to Rod Laver Arena next door.
Hilltop Hoods, Delta Goodrem, Selena Gomez, Imagine Dragons, Demi Lovato, 5 Seconds of Summer, Green Day and even Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – who had a worldwide hit with their same-sex marriage anthem Same Love in 2012 – have performed at the venue in recent years.
Upcoming shows include Grinspoon, Ryan Adams, Placebo, Body Count, LCD Soundsystem, Little Mix, Sigur Ros and Alice Cooper.
US singer Ryan Adams, who performs at the venue tomorrow, responded to the controversy on Twitter:
We haven’t seen any petitions yet, but we’re sure they’re coming.
Should promoters boycott a venue over the outdated views of it’s namesake? Should fans boycott the events held there?
Have your say on our Facebook page.