ABC youth radio station Triple J has announced the Hottest 100 will no longer be held on Australia Day.
ABC's popular youth radio station Triple J has made a surprise announcement: it will no longer broadcast its influential Hottest 100 poll on January 26.
In 2018, the Hottest 100 will be held on Saturday 27th of January. The station also confirmed it would become a two-day event in 2018, with the songs polling at 101 - 200 playing on Sunday the 28th.
The radio station announced the move via social media on Monday.
Triple J said in a press release that the date was moving due to the Hottest 100 being an event that all Australians should be able to celebrate.
"It should be an event that everyone can enjoy together – for both the musicians whose songs make it in and for everyone listening in Australia and around the world. This is really important to us," the statement said.
The station also cited an independent survey it conducted that showed nearly 60 per cent of 65,000 respondents were in favour of moving the countdown away from Australia Day.
The Hottest 100 has become an institution around Australia, with people of all ages voting for their favourite songs of the year in an online poll. The results — the most popular 100 songs of that year — have always been played from #100 to #1 on January 26. The musical event was commonly seen as a soundtrack for Australia Day parties across the nation, and gained enormous popularity since its creation in 1989.
But conversation about the problematic nature of the event being held on January 26 — due to its exclusion of many Indigenous listeners, as well as Indigenous musicians who might feature in the top 100 songs — has exploded in the past 18 months.
In 2016, a petition was launched to move the Hottest 100 to another date that was inclusive of Indigenous people, garnering over 5000 signatures. Earlier this year, triple j launched a survey to poll listeners on whether the Hottest 100 should be held on another date.
The move of the date has long been rumoured, with many Indigenous musicians such as Briggs and Trials from A.B. Original, Nooky, Birdz and many more speaking out in the past about the date of the musical event, saying that they do not support triple j holding the Hottest 100 on January 26.
"It would be a huge step forward for the blackfella population,” Nooky told Buzzfeed after news broke last year that the station was having "serious talks" about changing the date of the Hottest 100.
“The simple fact is I don’t f*** with Australia Day. Never have, never will. I listen to Triple J on the regular, but not on that day I don’t. They play my music and I’m grateful every time they play my tunes, but I I don’t partake in anything celebrating Australia Day. That’s Invasion Day for me. Survival Day if I’m feeling nice."
January 26 is commonly referred to as 'Invasion Day' or 'Survival Day' by many Indigenous people, due to the date's historical signficance: on January 26th 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip planted his flag at Sydney Cove and proclaimed British sovereignty.
Invasion Day marches are held all over the country every year in protest of Australia Day celebrations. These marches have increased in size in recent years, with conversation about changing the date of Australia Day gaining traction.
Triple J's announcement has prompted backlash on the station's social media, with many declaring they will no longer support the station and others demanding a boycott of the station.
"Might have to listen to triple M on Australia Day now", wrote one commenter. Another stated, "Congratulations on losing a heap of listeners. Countdown made australia day parties worth going to".
Others have praised the decision, thanking Triple J for de-politicising the Hottest 100, and sticking to the station's historically progressive nature.
"As someone who works every public holiday I will definitely enjoy being able to listen to the countdown in full every year now," wrote one supporter.
"Good on Triple J for having the respect not to have a celebration on a day that is the beginning of a genocide," another said.
The station said the 2019 Hottest 100 Weekend will also be the fourth weekend of January, but did not confirm the date for future years.
You can read Triple J's full statement about moving the date here.