Lambrini Girls

Dozens more artists have joined a boycott of this year’s Great Escape festival, with over half the line-up demanding the festival drop their sponsorship with Barclays in solidarity with Palestine.

The Brighton-based festival is sponsored by the bank, which has been a source of controversy amid the current events in Gaza because of the bank’s financial investment in companies that supply arms to Israel.

The issue was first highlighted by a petition started by the promoter How to Catch a Pig and the band The Menstrual Cramps, and has since been signed by artists including Kneecap, Lambrini Girls, Alfie Templeman, Lip Critic, Wunderhorse and Mary in the Junkyard who have urged the festival to drop Barclays as a sponsor.

Then, Cherym pulled out of playing Great Escape due to the festival’s connection with Barclays bank before record labels Alcopop and Big Scary Monsters joined the boycott and pulled out of the festival.

Now, dozens more have joined the boycott over the controversial partnership. The latest to drop out of performing include Lambrini Girls, ‌ZHEANI, Rett Madison, Mui Zyu, Hongza, Sarah Crean, LVRA, Ideal Living, Van Zon, COMRAD, Other Half, Cherym and Borough Council.‌

Speaking about their decision not to play the festival, Lambrini Girls issued a statement saying: “We will not be appearing at The Great Escape festival this year. This is a targeted approach of a cultural boycott, considering Barclays sponsorship.

“Barclays provide financial services of over £1BN pounds to companies supplying military technology and weapons to the IDF, perpetuating the horrors unfolding in Gaza.”

‌216 artists, making up approximately half of the festival’s lineup, have now signed a statement calling on the festival to drop its partnership with Barclays because of the bank’s financial investments in companies that supply arms to Israel.

‌The statement is supported by over 1000 musicians and industry professionals so far. 216 of the signatories are booked to play at this year’s festival.

The statement reads: “A bank that is involved in Israel’s genocide has no place at The Great Escape, which is a fixture of the independent music scene and has a prized place in the industry. We refuse to let music be used to whitewash human rights violations. We cannot let our creative outputs become smokescreens behind which money is pumped into murdering Palestinians.”

NME has reached out to The Great Escape festival for comment. ‌

Australian musician ZHEANI said of their decision not to play the festival: “The banking establishment not only support and profit off the current Israeli assault on Gaza but have funded all wars for centuries. I cannot support evil. Free Palestine.”

Rett Madison also confirmed she would be dropping out too. Madison said: “In support of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, I am joining the boycott of Barclays and withdrawing my performance at The Great Escape Festival this May.”

While Jasmine.4.t added: “I’ve dropped out from The Great Escape and I’m encouraging all artists to disrupt the festival by withholding their labour as it’s completely unacceptable and frankly disgusting that they still haven’t dropped famed genocide-financers Barclays. Barclays is a widely-known primary target for the BDS movement, and is responsible for over £4bn of investments in Israeli arms, and TGE are giving them cultural capital and artwashing their crimes via their partnership.”

The move comes a month after swathes of artists refused to play Austin’s SXSW Festival, due to its connections with the US Army and weapons companies amid the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Gruff Rhys, Kneecap, Sprints, Lambrini Girls, Gel, Rachel Chinouriri, Cardinals and NewDad  all eventually pulled out from SXSW, as well as every Irish act on the bill. Many of the artists expressed that they had made the decision out of solidarity with the people of Palestine.

In light of the withdrawals, SXSW released a statement regarding all of the bands and artists who have been pulling out of the festival, saying: “We are an organisation that welcomes diverse viewpoints. Music is the soul of SXSW, and it has long been our legacy. We fully respect the decision these artists made to exercise their right to free speech.”

Explaining its sponsorship with the US Army, SXSW wrote: “The defence industry has historically been a proving ground for many of the systems we rely on today. These institutions are often leaders in emerging technologies, and we believe it’s better to understand how their approach will impact our lives.”

The post Dozens more artists join Great Escape 2024 boycott, as half the line-up demands festival drop Barclays sponsor in solidarity with Palestine appeared first on NME.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


 © amin abedi 



Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?