Triple J has announced it will no longer celebrate its annual Hottest 100 on Australia Day, moving the countdown one day later to January 27 after a public campaign to change the date.
The national youth radio station has counted down listeners' top 100 favourite songs of the previous on January 26 since 1998, bringing it in line with the national public holiday.
However, in recent years Triple J has been under pressure from Indigenous groups and musicians to not hold the celebration on Australia Day, as debate continues as to whether the national holiday should be moved to a date less antagonistic to Australia's first people.
On Monday, Triple J announced how the Hottest 100 would be run in 2018, saying that the countdown would happen on the fourth weekend of January each year instead of the strict January 26 date.
— triple j (@triplej) November 27, 2017
"It's fair to say there's been increasing debate around 26 January and there are a lot of perspectives on what it means to different Australians. As the public broadcaster representing all Australians, triple j and the ABC doesn't take a view in the discussions," Triple J said in a statement.
"However, in recent years the Hottest 100 has become a symbol in the debate about Australia Day. The Hottest 100 wasn't created as an Australia Day celebration. It was created to celebrate your favourite songs of the past year. 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."
Triple J had resisted calls to move the date in 2016, but said the timing was under review.
"We want the Hottest 100 to be an inclusive and respectful event for all Australians, including all the incredible Indigenous artists making great Australian music, and the listeners from all cultural backgrounds who love it," the station said last year.
Triple J shared results from two surveys it had conducted, to find attitudes among listeners to keeping or changing the date of the Hottest 100. Nearly 65,000 fans responded to one survey, with 60 percent saying they supported moving the date, while another smaller survey of 759 people found 55 percent supported a change while 22 percent "don't care either way", while just 24 percent disapproved of a date change.
"Ultimately, our research and your feedback shows that most of you are behind a move for the Hottest 100. For those that don't want the date to move, we have heard you," Triple J wrote.
"We've listened closely to how all of you felt about the Hottest 100 and responded with what's the right choice, right now, that reflects the variety of complicated views. And it's a move backed up by more than those survey results."
Indigenous rapper Briggs, as part of his award-winning duo A.B. Original, has been one of the loudest voices calling for Triple J to reconsider holding the Hottest 100 on Australia Day, and changing the date of Australia Day itself altogether. In a popular 'Like A Version' cover of Paul Kelly's hit 'Dumb Things', he even predicted "the date's changing". On Monday, he marked the news quickly:
Told ya. pic.twitter.com/Yayue0Ijj1— Senator Briggs (@Briggs) November 27, 2017
Key dates for Hottest 100, 2018:
- Tues 12 Dec 2017: Voting opens
- Mon 22 Jan 2018: Voting closes
- Fri 26 Jan 2018: Australia Day
- Sat 27 Jan 2018: Hottest 100
- Sun 28 Jan 2018: Hottest 200