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HomeMusic130 artists set to perform at The Great Escape Festival 2024 pull...

130 artists set to perform at The Great Escape Festival 2024 pull out over Barclays Boycott – PLAYY.

A quarter of the artists slated to perform at the annual Brighton event have since announced their decision to step back from the festival by the date it was supposed to commence (15 May 2024). This action follows the circulation of a petition in April urging The Great Escape to reconsider its sponsorship ties with Barclays Bank. The bank has been the focus of Bands Boycott Barclays, an online campaign taking cues from the 90s Artists Against Apartheid movement that tackled global investment in apartheid in South Africa. Bands Boycott Barclays is campaigning for music festivals to divest from sponsors that are invested in Israel. Barclays is currently included in the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign, with allegations of financial connections to nine companies involved in producing weapons and military technology used in the IDF’s ongoing military assault on Palestinian civilian population.


The Great Escape has become a key part of the UK’s music calendar since its inception in 2006, with about 500 artists performing in various locations around Brighton. Anna Calvi, Stormzy and Kae Tempest have all launched their careers at the event, but this year it has become a spotlight for divisions over the devastation that has been unfolding in Gaza. Notably, Barclays Bank sponsors several UK festivals, including the Great Escape, Latitude and Isle of Wight


“As musicians, we are calling on The Great Escape to drop Barclays as a partner,” the petition reads.Barclays is funding Israel’s genocidal assault on Palestinians through its financial ties with arms companies that sell weapons to Israel. 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.”


SOFT PLAY, Warmduscher, and Alien Chicks are amongst the latest wave of artists to pull out of their scheduled appearances at the festival. Alfie Templeman, one of the most established artists due to play at this year’s event, confirmed that he would not perform, asserting that his “morals cannot and will not align with the amalgamation of entertainment and human suffering”.


Massive Attack, Idles and Eno were among dozens of high-profile artists who were not booked to play at The Great Escape festival but signed an open letter launched in April calling for it to drop Barclays as a partner. Massive Attack stated: “It’s extraordinary to think that in 2024 promoters and festivals still don’t understand that as artists, our music is for sale but our humanity and morality is not.”


A spokesperson for Bands Boycott Barclays shared: Barclays is bankrolling the genocide against Palestinians in Gaza and then laundering its reputation by partnering with music festivals like the Great Escape. As musicians, we think that’s despicable.”


See some of the posts from artists regarding their decision to pull out The Great Escape 2024 below.





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