As Australians venture into festival season, the ‘shoey’ becomes a hot topic of discussion, with some calling to ban the act from music events.
The “shoey” is Australian slang that refers to having a celebratory drink, typically alcoholic, out of a shoe.
Whilst many have adopted the tradition as part of Australian culture, recently, the shoey controversy has resurfaced, continuing to divide people on the matter.
The controversy initially sparked back in July 2022, during popular music festival ‘Splendour in the Grass‘.
Headlining artist at the time, Tyler the Creator, received constant calls from the crowd asking him to ‘do a shoey’, which he ignored.
The request did not stop there, Tyler then became hassled during one of his own shows in Sydney. After refusing again, he followed by saying that ‘he doesn’t give in to peer pressure.’
After people shared their opinion, the topic seemed to sink back into the depths of the internet. Recently however, the topic arose again, stemming from an incident at the Wollongong music festival, Yours and Owls.
During headliner Earl Sweatshirt’s set, the crowd called for Earl to perform a shoey, which he blatantly shut down, calling the act ‘crazy.’
Jaxon Gorbon, an attendee at the event, was highly annoyed by the crowd’s disrespect.
“I just wanted him to play a song but everyone kept insisting he do a shoey,” Mr Gorbon said.
“People were getting up on each other’s shoulders and doing shoeys themselves in an attempt to convince him.
“It was funny to an extent but Earl was clearly uncomfortable.”
Combatting Earl Sweatshirt’s remarks, following performers, Canadian indie-rock band Peach Pit embraced the idea of doing a shoey, by starting the chant themselves.
Frontman, Neil Smith, announced to the crowd in between songs that “Canadians love Australian culture” and then began chanting “Shoey, Shoey” until the crowd joined in.
Aaron Smith, attendee at the festival, recalled being highly amused by this.
“There was a clear disconnect between the message [Earl Sweatshirt] was preaching and what [Neil Smith] did,” Mr Smith said.
“I go to a lot of festivals and, I know people get mad about it, but I think shoeys are something unique that international artists won’t get anywhere else.”
Another music artist headlining Yours and Owls, Hobo Johnson, took a more public stance on the debate.
After announcing he was performing his own shows, outside of Yours and Owls, Mr Johnson also revealed the name of his Australian tour, titled “Hobo Johnson won’t do a shoey tour.”
Although, some questioned if this was a publicity stunt as when his concerts came and shoey calls emerged, Mr Johnson happily obliged.
Fan and creator of the TikTok above, Simeon Yakovlev, agreed with the idea of Mr Johnson’s shoey being planned.
“I think he had this planned from the get-go and his tour name had to be intentional,” Mr Yakovlev said.
“You could tell it was purely for entertainment purposes, [Hobo Johnson] looked ready for the shoey chant and was smiling the whole time.”
So, what should be done in the shoey’s matter?
In an effort to uncover what students at the University of Wollongong thought, UOWTV took to social media to ask the burning question; Should shoey’s be banned from music events?
A shared Facebook poll returned with an overwhelming yes to the question, with only 26 per cent voting against the tradition.
Similar support was shown on Twitter with majority voting in support of shoey’s.
— UOWTV (@UOWTV) October 27, 2023
It’s safe to say, that the general consensus amongst UOW students is that shoey’s are here to stay.
To have your say, head to UOWTV’s twitter page and share your thoughts.