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Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Fears over Coast white pride festival (Australia)

A white pride music festival set to be held on the Gold Coast next week has fuelled concerns the city is becoming the go-to destination for white supremacists.

The second annual Hammered Music Festival will be held on April 16 at an unknown location.

It will be the third of its kind on the Coast in the past year.

Organisers said it was a ``weekend of sun, surf and racialist music mayhem''.

Members from white supremacist groups linked to the event, including Crew 38, Southern Cross Hammer Skinheads and Blood and Honour have imposed tight restrictions to keep the location under wraps.

Gold Coast-based organiser who goes by the online name of ``Tattooed Aryan'' wrote on websites, including www.crew38.com and www.stormfront. org, that the festival was expected to be larger than the inaugural event which drew people nationwide.

``We have a great line-up of bands and alot (sic) of good times planned in one of Australia's top holiday destinations,'' he wrote.

Bands will include Deaths Head, Open Season and Ravenous.

Bond University criminologist and forensic psychologist Professor Paul Wilson said the Gold Coast's reputation as a holiday destination extended to the skinhead community.

``People of all ideologies like going on holidays.

"But it is disturbing to see a group like this celebrating on the Gold Coast or anywhere else,'' he said.

``So far they appear to be doing it legally, but this is not the image the Gold Coast would want.''

Despite community concern, Coomera police district officer Inspector Steve Flori said events were bound by state and local laws to ensure public safety.

``As long as the group abides by the law, it is not a police issue,'' he said.

Event organisers did not respond to emails.