Casey Barnes & Rock Acts Detail Airline Woes During Aus Festival Season

4 December 2023 | 10:37 am | Mary Varvaris

"The entire airline has completely gone to the sh*t, and they’re cost-cutting everywhere."

Chimers, Short Stack, Casey Barnes

Chimers, Short Stack, Casey Barnes (Source: Supplied, Shaun Williams, Jay Seeney Blacklist Productions)

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It’s been a terrible few days for Aussie acts and punters trying to travel across the country for festivals and tours, with flight cancellations throwing everyone into chaos.

In a shocking video shared on social media, Wollongong post-hardcore duo Chimers claimed that Qantas mishandled their musical instruments and criticised the airline’s standards in baggage handling.

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The band said in a statement, per 10 News First Sydney, “We only started filming after they launched Binx’s snare case so hard it bounced off the conveyor belt onto the ground.”

Following the footage circulating online, a spokesperson for Qantas told 10 News First Sydney that the airline was “incredibly disappointed” and directly spoke to the airline’s handling director, Swissport.

Chimers recorded the video ahead of their show at Melbourne’s (Naarm) Brunswick Ballroom opening for punk rockers The Victims. In April, Chimers scored the supporting slot for Mudhoney’s long-awaited Australian tour.

Elsewhere, Budgewoi pop-punk trio Short Stack criticised Virgin Airlines for cancelling their flights to get to Good Things Festival in Sydney (Eora) and Brisbane (Meanjin).

For the former instance, the band hired a van to “leg it” to Sydney, and for the latter, they were informed at 11:30 pm the night before that their flight to Brisbane was cancelled. Their manager, Florian Maier, was lining up a flight to Brisbane for yesterday (3 December) at 4 am.

Shout out to virgin for cancelling our flight! Had to hire a van and leg it to good things Sydney! See ya soon 😂 🏃🏻

Posted by Short Stack on Friday, December 1, 2023

“After our flight yesterday was cancelled, we drove from Melbourne and made it just before our set. Then a massive storm came through, and everyone was evacuated. Was gnarly,” the band wrote on Facebook.

They continued, “Last night at 11:30 pm, we found out our flights cancelled again, so our manager has been on the phone at 4 am sorting us a new one… See you tonight, Brisbane!!! Thanks to our management, especially Florian”.

Good things Sydney was amazing but what a day! After our flight yesterday was cancelled, we drove from Melbourne and...

Posted by Short Stack on Saturday, December 2, 2023

Country music star Casey Barnes also blasted Virgin Airlines over the weekend, taking to TikTok to reveal that due to his flight cancellation, he was forced to fork out $2,000 per member of his crew to make it to their next gig on Qantas replacement flights.

Barnes and his team needed to get to Meatstock Sydney to perform on a line-up alongside You Am I, Hoodoo Gurus, Kasey Chambers and Kaylee Bell.

“The entire airline has completely gone to the shit, and they’re cost-cutting everywhere,” Barnes said. “We’ve been affected over the last few days flying. We did a show in Melbourne last night, we were meant to be playing in Sydney tonight, got up this morning, and all of our flights have been cancelled.”

He added, “All four members of our band have been chucked on four totally different flights, two of which weren’t going to get us to Sydney in time. So we had to fork out $1,000 each one way from Melbourne to Sydney on Qantas.”


Anyone else been affected by all the Virgin chaos over the last few days? Pilots are striking, cost cutting everywhere, Bain Capital have destroyed what used to be a great airline! Anyone else agree? @Virgin Australia #Virgn #Travel #BainCapital #VirginAustralia #fyp #Australia

♬ original sound - Casey Barnes

While British folk-punk troubadour Frank Turner was recently on tour in Australia, he called Virgin the “worst airline in the universe” and, in an Instagram video, revealed that all of his and his bandmates’ gear was in Perth while they were due to perform in Adelaide. Due to being “punk rock”, the gig went ahead.