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Lana Del Rey pulls out of Israel’s Meteor Festival

The star has pulled out of the festival, saying it is important to her that she "perform in both Palestine and Israel and treat all [her] fans equally"

By Molly Long on 03 Sep 2018

Lana Del Rey is one of the latest artists to pull out of Israel's Meteor Festival

Lana Del Rey is one of the latest artists to pull out of Israel's Meteor Festival


image © Jaguar MENA: Flickr

After initially defending her decision to play the inaugural edition of Meteor Festival, stating her performance would “not be a political statement,” Lana Del Rey has pulled out of the Israeli event.

In a statement uploaded to her Twitter, Del Rey explained it was important to her to be able to play both Israel and Palestine so she could “treat all [her] fans equally”. In the run-up to the festival – scheduled for this weekend in Tel Aviv (6-8 September) – a Palestinian show couldn’t be organised in time, and so her performance has been postponed “until a time when [she] can schedule visits for both”.

The statement comes 11 days after Del Rey initially defended her decision to play the festival. A previous series of tweets explained she “understood” why fans were upset, but stated “I’m doing my best to navigate the waters of the constant tumultuous hardships in the war-torn countries all over the world that I travel through monthly.”

“Affiliating us with that is nothing short of absurd – as in fact, we’re pretty much the only festival in the world who’s 100% politics free.”

Much of the pressure to drop out of the festival came from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS), which has so far convinced a number of other artists to cancel their performances. Many American, British, South African and Australian acts have all pulled out, including electronic music producer Shlohmo, DJ Volvox, duo Black Motion, DJ Shanti Celeste, DJ Seinfeld and DJ Leon Vynehall.

The news of Del Rey’s decision was met with a cold reception from event organisers.  A statement published on the Meteor Festival website shortly after the news broke accused the “no-show” singer of using her performance to “score some press attention” – something that has since been deleted.

Organisers have previously emphasised in the statement that Meteor Festival is “an independent, private project… receiving no support, funds or benefits from any governmental or political entity.” It continues: “Therefore, affiliating us with that is nothing short of absurd – as in fact, we’re pretty much the only festival in the world who’s 100% politics free.”

Del Rey’s decision is not the first high-profile cancellation; last year, New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde cancelled shows in Tel Aviv, prompting heavy backlash from anti-BDS campaigners.

 


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