Furious No voters in the Voice referendum have blasted the AFL’s pre-match entertainment after one of the performers promoted the Yes vote in his performance.
The AFL commission had previously ruled out promoting the Yes for Indigenous Voice campaign in the parliamentary referendum.
While American rockers KISS were the stars of the pre-match entertainment, igniting the MCG with an electric set that defied their age, it was one of the opening acts that had footy fans angry.
KISS are on their latest world tour and delivered an electric performance at the AFL Grand Final that was applauded by footy fans.
A new generation joined the KISS army in a show that nearly surpassed Robbie Williams’ performance from last year.
Two Indigenous Australian artists still used their platform to promote the Yes vote, angering many football fans.
The pre-match entertainment began with Australia’s top didgeridoo player, William Barton, as well as Melbourne-based indigenous singer-songwriter Jess Hitchcock, who performed a rendition of Waltzing Matilda.
“Here to perform a unique rendition of the original bush ballad ‘Waltzing Matilda’, please welcome ARIA Award winner William Barton, accompanied by Jessica Hitchcock,” the commentator said welcoming them.
Barton began the performance with his didgeridoo playing, saying, “It’s about the passing of culture from generation to generation around the campfire. We watch, listen, learn and share the motherland together.
As the MCG crowd warmly applauded their performance, several fans took to social media to express their disapproval because Hitchcock wore a ‘Vote Yes’ shirt in support of the Voice to Parliament referendum.
Barton and Hitchock perform Waltzing Matilda, the skirt-wearing singer promoting the Yes campaign
“Why do you need to make the AFL political!” Get the vote yes, take your shirt off. It’s a sport, not a Parliament! The AFL needs to stop being so woke,” one fan posted.
“Horrible rendition of a classic,” added another.
“Why did the AFL allow politics into the ceremony by having Yes logos on the singers. If you allow Yes you must also allow #VoteNo,” posted another.
While some fans criticized the performances, others were quick to praise them.
Jess Hitchcock and Mike Brady speak to fans during a media opportunity for the AFL Grand Final at the MCG on Thursday.
Mike Brady performs his classic Up There Cazaly at the 2023 AFL Grand Final Parade on Friday
“Jess Hitchcock really great at G, great rendition of a great song,” posted.
“Thanks to Jess Hitchcock for the Yes dress,” added another.
Fans were much more welcoming to Mike Brady, who then performed with his iconic football classic Up There Cazaly, which also included a touching reference to Ron Barassi who died on September 16.
‘Back to normal. A superb rendition of Up there, Cazaly,” posted a fan.
“The AFL will absolutely use a hologram of Mike Grady after his death,”
The headline act was KISS, with the aging rockers delivering a captivating performance of their classics including Rock And Roll All Nite and Shout It Out Loud.
‘Bright. Robbie Williams last year and KISS this year. The AFL has set a precedent that it cannot and should not back down from,” one fan posted.
“It shows you are as old as you choose to be,” another added.
“Huge credit goes to Gil McLachlan and Matt Gudinski for not only getting KISS to perform at the #AFLGF, but also for putting on a showcase that looked unreal on TV, and I’m sure it was the same thing in person on the ground,” said another.