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Image: Tina Tiller
Image: Tina Tiller

Pop CultureMarch 1, 2024

Blink-182 have pissed off the wrong New Zealand city

Image: Tina Tiller
Image: Tina Tiller

The recent cancellation of the Christchurch Blink-182 concert and an inflammatory comment from the lead singer have left locals asking: what’s my consumer rights again?

Pop punk bad boys Blink-182 have enraged Christchurch fans to the point of potential legal action after cancelling their sold out concert two weeks prior to the gig, and then exclaiming “Fuck Christchurch” while onstage in Australia this week. The events have elicited strong reactions in the community, with people referring to them as “Stink 182”, “fucking douches” and “absolute time wasters” online. “Fuck Christchurch? Fuck you,” one Redditor wrote.

“Twenty years down the drain with my fave band to have them shit all over my home.”

Christchurch mayor Phil Mauger has even weighed in on the drama, telling The Press that he has “a few choice words” for the band behind songs such as ‘Dysentary Gary’. “The printable version is that it’s very disappointing,” he said. Blink-182 fan and Christchurch resident Kate was slightly less restrained than the mayor. “Honestly, fuck them,” she told The Spinoff. “It makes them look like sellout dicks who aren’t really there for the music and the fans.”

Tom DeLonge will certainly NOT be enjoying a Rollickin’ Gelato any time soon

Kate said the comment has not just put her off listening to Blink-182’s music, but has also deterred her from wearing the “stupid meme shirt” she bought on RedBubble to surprise her husband on the night of the concert. “Now I’ve got this dumb T-shirt that I’m never going to wear,” she said of the garment, emblazoned with the phonetic lyrics of ‘I Miss You’ (“Jone waste yore toye monme yorall rediii the voice inside moye yedd”).

Although Kate has been left out of pocket on a cheap novelty T-shirt, other fans have potentially lost thousands on travel and accommodation for the now-cancelled gig. And, following the comments in Australia, it appears that some disgruntled purchasers could be funnelling their rage into the Disputes Tribunal. “I feel a few small claims wins coming on for people who might want to get compensated for travel and accommodation,” wrote one Reddit user, receiving 69 upvotes.

While the Ōtautahi Disputes Tribunal could not disclose the details of any current Blink-182-based claims, citing privacy, they did confirm to The Spinoff that this situation “is likely to be something the Tribunal would consider.” Jessica Walker of Consumer NZ told Newstalk ZB that Christchurch fans could “have a go” at spending $45 to lodge a claim. “It’s worth seeing if you can get your money back under the consumer guarantees act, or the fair trading act,” she said.

All the small things could really add up, she added, with the $45 fee potentially returning up to $2000 back if required. While Kate is ineligible for a refund on the cost of her RedBubble T-shirt (she’s already washed it), she is in full support of any potential legal action taken by her fellow Blink-182 fans. “I love it,” she said. “We’re petty here and we’re very used to filing EQC claims – we know how to fill out a form and we know how to get litigious real quick.”

Kate’s “stupid” Blink-182 T-shirt

Kate’s own personal act of vengeance on behalf of Christchurch? Spotting Blink-182 singer Tom DeLonge in the crowd at the Taylor Swift Eras concert in Australia, and “flipping him a side eye.” She noted that he was only there for a short time, treating it “like pre-drinks” and appeared “totally carefree” despite deeply letting down his loyal fans across the ditch. “Things happen, cancellations happen, but the way you speak to your fans about it really matters,” she added.

“I just think they’ve underestimated Christchurch, that we are just a nothing place with a weird name. And we do have a weird name – but we’re not nothing.”

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