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Latitude 2024 loses more acts over Barclays links

Mui Zyu and Georgia Ruth are the latest artists to pull out of this year’s edition of Latitude festival over its sponsorship with Barclays and the bank’s ties to Israel.

The pair follow in the footsteps of Pillow Queens, who became the first band to boycott Latitude 2024, and CMAT, who dropped out last week.

Zyu shared a statement on her official Instagram account explaining her decision to boycott the Suffolk Music Festival.

“The festival is sponsored by Barclays who are continuing to profit from the genocide in Palestine,” began her statement.

She continued: “Barclays are on the BDS Movement’s boycott list. Throughout the last six months they have continued to increase their financing to companies making weapons that are then used on Gaza where at this moment over 37,000 people have been killed and over 82,000 people injured (many of whom are children).

“As a small artist this may not have much impact on the festival, but if others join it can. If you are planning to attend the festival please consider using your voice as a customer to speak out against your money going towards a genocide.

“As a small artist this may not have much impact on the festival, but if others join it can”

Her statement concluded with “Follow Bands Boycott Barclays who are leading this movement. Familiarise yourself with the BDS Movement, and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.”

Zyu was also one of over 100 acts that dropped out of The Great Escape in Brighton last month in solidarity with Palestine and as part of the Bands Boycott Barclays. The campaign group listed Isle of Wight and Latitude festivals – both of which are presented by Barclaycard – and Download as their “next festival targets”.

Ruth also took to Instagram account to share her own statement explaining her decision to boycott Latitude and highlight the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s (PSC) latest report which revealed that Barclays “now invests over £2 billion in, and provides loans and underwriting worth £6.1 billion, to nine companies whose weapons, components and military technology are used in Israel’s attacks on Palestinians”.

“I was inspired by the effective boycott of Hay Festival this week by participating authors, which led directly to Baillie Gifford being dropped as main sponsor,” she wrote. “We can make a difference; festivals can make meaningful change. I urge Latitude to cut financial ties with Barclaycard.”

In response to the boycotts, Barclays have repeatedly pointed to their online Q&A which states: “We have been asked why we invest in nine defence companies supplying Israel, but this mistakes what we do. We trade in shares of listed companies in response to client instruction or demand and that may result in us holding shares. We are not making investments for Barclays and Barclays is not a ‘shareholder’ or ‘investor’ in that sense in relation to these companies.”

Last week, IQ spoke to industry figures to find out how the business is dealing with artist boycotts.


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