SydneyMelbourne’s “Shindig Party” and their racist SMS spam

ACTYOAGE Myspace screencap, featuring songs such as MYPENIS

This guest post is from Hoydenizen Raelene of Sydney.


Hi there, hoydens. Here is a true story for you:

I started university this year, and during one of our orientation programs (a day at the beach), representatives for various clubs were going around signing students up who were ”interested in club promotion”. I put my name and mobile number down, along with many others.

Since then I’ve received about one text per week advertising upcoming club events, and never paid enough attention to them beyond annoyance at their not having any apparent way to unsubscribe, as every other text message notification service I’ve been subscribed to has (usually short instructions at the end of every message).

This evening, I received this from a sender my phone identifies only as shindig:

”Making less sense then an abo with a job, melbournes shittest night showcases sydneys hardest rocking duo, ACT YO AGE!Oh god please come,we havnt eaten in weeks”

I had to do a bit of hard googling to find out who shindig is: a venue in Prahran. This is their website: It’s likely that this same text was sent to who knows how many other ’subscribers’.

I am almost lost for words about this. I have already sent an email to the address provided on shindig’s website calling them out for this offensive behaviour, but I also want to spread the word about this, and am hoping that you can help do so. They should not be allowed to get away this sort of thing. I’m not too sure what else to do, so any advice etc. would be welcome. Mostly, I am afraid my sole dissenting voice will not be enough to make them take this matter seriously.



Act Yo Age on Myspace (WARNING: plays bad music at you) *Note: A commenter, “Tim”, claims to represent Act Yo Age, and has publicly distanced the duo from this promotion.

Shindig Party:

on the web

– on Myspace

– on Facebook

Categories: Uncategorized


10 replies

  1. Hi Raelene,
    if you lodge a complaint with the Advertising Standards Bureau about this (and the complaint will certainly be upheld) the event organisers will be told in no uncertain terms how unacceptable this sort of behaviour is. I also googled the address, and it’s a club in Prahran called Valve, at 177 Greville St (looks like Shindig is the name of a regular ‘night’, probably not organised by the venue management, who presumably don’t know about the sms you got.
    The ASB’s website is here, and good on you for giving a damn about this. (Best of luck with uni, too.)

  2. Don’t spend too much time on this, but if you feel inclined you could also shoot off a note to the Greville Street traders association –
    Greville Street Traders
    Ms Rebecca Marl
    130 Greville Street Prahran 3181
    Tel: (03) 9530 2125
    and to the City of Stonnington unit responsible for implementing their reconciliation plan, at the email address onthe bottom of this page. The council won’t be able to take any action but they do take these things into account when venues are applying for permits etc.

  3. Hi there Laura, thanks for the info. I think I may try contacting the venue. They may be more responsive than the organisers of Shindig.

    Also, everyone else, this is in Melbourne, not Sydney.

  4. a q or 2: How did “shindig” get set as the label for a phone number in your phone? Did the “club” give you the phone number and you saved it as “shindig”? Has someone working for the nightspot abused their access to the company’s database?
    If you signed something from a REAL student org, and you have a copy of what you signed, then it’s worth looking for weasel-words about your details being passed on to other organizations. If there was no such warning, then you’ve probably got the Privacy Act to bash the student org and/or the individual with.
    If what you signed was from a FAKE student org, then there was misrepresentation, if only because “club promotion” in that context has a reasonable interpretation of “promoting a university club” rather than “promoting a company that runs a nightspot”. Dunno what you can do about that tho.
    There’s also the Spam Act (2003) which might apply. From

    The Australian Spam Act and where to report spam
    The Spam Act 2003—came into affect on 10 April 2004. Under the Spam Act it is illegal to send, or cause to be sent, ‘unsolicited commercial electronic messages’ that have an Australian link.
    The Australian Communications and Media Authority is the Commonwealth Government body that enforces the Spam Act.
    For more information about spam laws, advice to business and consumers, spam security tips and where to report spam go to: the Australian Communications and Media Authority website and follow the consumer/spam link

    It’s worth talking this over with mates who are doing law, especially if you have a copy of what you signed (naaa, I never keep that stuff either – but I read the fine print before I sign anything like that).

  5. Hi Dave,
    I’m using a Nokia E65, one of them newfangled smartphones. I don’t have shindig saved as a contact. For some reason, they seem to be able to send a text with the From name as shindig, instead of a number that’s mapped to a corresponding contact in my address book. There are no options for me to reply to or call the sender of the text, as there are with other normal texts. I doubt someone’s abusing the database.
    They’re definitely not a student organisation, nor were they fronting as one during orientation, so it’s not a case of misrepresentation.
    Will let everyone know if I ever get a reply to the email I sent to shindig. In the meantime, will submit a complaint to the ASB and try to get in touch with the venue Valve itself. Thanks for all the advice, everyone!

  6. Hiya Hoyden Et Al,

    My name is Tim, I am part of the group you have inconsiderately tagged within this message, Act Yo Age.

    I am a verdant supporter of this cause and think it is disgraceful that the party was promoted in such a disrespectful and tasteless way.

    I would like to make very public that fact that we were in no way privy to this situation and are thoroughly appalled by it.

    I will be contacting the party responsible for a full explanation and apology.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion (WARNING: plays bad music at you) however, I would appreciate an even handed approach to this situation and ask that you would kindly disassociate Act Yo Age with any further suggestion of racism or slander.

    Thank-you for your understanding, Tim*

  7. That’s good to know, Tim. I hope you get a sincere apology from the person or organisation responsible.
    Perhaps you could share the details here when you know exactly who did this in your name? This might help people in the future when they’re checking out promoters and venues before associating themselves with them.

  8. Hi All,

    My Name is Alex and i run a promotional company that is involved in running SHINDIG and responsible for the said Text Message.

    There are a few points i would like make first. SHINDIG is the name of the night held at Valve every Saturday night. The promotions and marketing of Shindig are in no way linked to VALVE.

    Acts (such as ACT YO AGE) are in no way linked to the way the night is promoted. They a booked to perform, and have nothing to do with the way the night is run.

    My company is only one part of SHINDIG and therefore do not reflect the actions, views and opinions of all Involved with shindig, and the Shindig Brand.

    We are extremely apologetic about the said communication, it was rude, offensive and inappropriate.

    The message was sent by a disgruntled employee who had access to our database, it was not approved by myself, my partner, any of the directors of the company or anyone else involved with shindig. If it had been, I assure you this sms would not have been sent.

    However, as the owners of the company, My partner and I take full responsibility for the actions of our staff and are willing to talk to anyone sincerely offended further, as well as take any actions necessary to make things right.

    The views expressed in the message do not reflect the personal views of myself or my my partners. We are extremely disgusted with what was said, and the person responsible for writing the message is no longer with us.

    Once again, on behalf of all involved i extend our sincere apologies.



  9. We are extremely apologetic about the said communication, it was rude, offensive and inappropriate.

    The clear acknowledgement of the problems with the offensive message is good.

    The message was sent by a disgruntled employee [snip]

    This weakens your response. Even if it’s true, the fact that it is such a common excuse for corporate misbehaviour elicits mistrust. All that was needed is “the responsible person has been discovered and disciplined” without any further details, and then go on to the “However…[my]y partner and I take full responsibility for the actions of our staff” part. Having that explanation there weakens your claims of taking full responsibility.
    Nonetheless, it is good that you have responded.

  10. Apologies,
    I do assure you that the person responsible ahs been disciplined and dealt with accordingly.

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