Do you know what a shoey is? If you don’t, I salute you: your life is obviously good enough that you’ve never been exposed to one of Australia’s most long-running, and disgusting, traditions. If you do know what a shoey is, well, I’m so, so sorry.
I’m not bringing up this disgusting act — that of chugging a beer out of a recently-worn shoe — for fun. I’m here to discuss shoeys because this week, during their respective Australian tours, both Kacey Musgraves and Post Malone have been convinced to drink out of shoes. This has led to a lot of confused news pieces about why, exactly, Kacey Musgraves, country princess, was being bullied by her audience into doing something so vile. (It seems less confusing that Post Malone would do one, I guess.)
Those who used the correct terminology for the act put the word ‘shoey’ in inverted commas, which I find adorable; it must be lovely to be so unfamiliar with a shoey that you have to put it in quotes. I’m ashamed to admit that, as an Australian, I can offer a small amount of background for those confused as to why any audience would cajole someone they’ve paid to see into doing a shoey.
The short answer is: the shoey is an Australian tradition, a scummy shared pastime like day drinking, barbecues and virulent racism. Nobody knows when it started — Katie Cunningham painstakingly tried to find the origin for inthemix and thinks, maybe, Tasmanian punk band Luca Brasi were the first to do shoeys at shows — but it seems that every time someone tours here, they’re pushed (forced) into doing one.
Doing a shoey at your show is a kind of initiation ritual, a laidback sign of camaraderie that shows audiences that you're more chill Australian than uptight American.
Post Malone has taken to doing one at pretty much every one of his Australian shows, and Superorganism did one when they were in the country last July. And now, we’ve corrupted Kacey, the purest among us. (Granted she did a tequila shoey out of a glass slipper, but still.) Other shoey drinkers over the years include Dillon Francis and Grouplove; we can only hope, for sanitary reasons, that Kacey's glass slipper shoey will end the tradition once and for all.