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How is the industry grappling with artist boycotts?

The last couple of months have seen artist boycotts ripple through the showcase festival season, with hundreds of acts pulling out of SXSW in Austin, and others from new music showcase festival The Great Escape (TGE) due to their sponsors’ ties to Israel.

More than 100 speakers and acts pulled out of March’s SXSW in protest of the Texas event’s sponsorship by the US Army and its support for Israel during the Gaza war. A similar number of acts were reported to have dropped out of the UK’s TGE due to its sponsorship by Barclays and its ties to Israel.

Now, attention is turning to other events, with campaign group Bands Boycott Barclays listing Isle of Wight and Latitude festivals – both of which are presented by Barclaycard – and Download as their “next festival targets”.

Last week, Pillow Queens became the first act to boycott this year’s Latitude. Posting on social media, the Irish rock band said: “As a band, we believe that artistic spaces should be able to exist without being funded by morally corrupt investors.”

A handful of acts that boycotted TGE – Picture Parlour, King Alessi, Nieve Ella, Mui Zyu – are also billed to perform at Latitude Festival. IQ reached out to the acts but none have commented.

“The impacts are going to be different for each and every artist, depending on their circumstances”

Like other acts before them, Pillow Queens referenced a May 2024 report by Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) which details Barclay’s financial ties to companies producing weapons and military technology used in Israel’s attacks on Palestinians.

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.”

Annabella Coldrick, CEO of Music Managers Forum (MMF) says it is not straightforward for an artist to pull out of a festival. “The impacts are going to be different for each and every artist, depending on their circumstances, she says. “With SXSW, there may have been funding agreements and contractual obligations to consider. There’s also the cost of getting to Austin and visas, which for an upcoming act can be considerable.”

Northern Irish artist Conchúr White, who boycotted SXSW, revealed that he “accepted a significant amount of money from PRS [for Music]” to perform at the festival.

“The financial implications for me, however, pale in comparison to the tragedies occurring in Gaza,” he continued. “I don’t want to align myself with weapon manufacturers.”
White added he will “try to be more mindful moving forward”.

“We would caution against people pressuring and making assumptions about the views of others”

Belfast band Kneecap also canceled their sets at SXSW “in solidarity with the people of Palestine” even though pulling out “would have a significant financial impact on the band”. But they said it wasn’t comparable to the “unimaginable suffering” in Gaza.

While there are a number of possible ramifications for bands boycotting festivals, artists choosing to stay on festival bills are also facing difficulties.

“There’s a lot of pressure coming from social media,” says Coldrick. “Plus you’ve got fans who may have paid to see you. Not every artist is political or feels confident enough or informed enough to express an opinion about what might be a complex global issue. Alternatively, artists may decide to play and use their platform to express their views in other ways.”

David Martin, CEO at Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), seconds that point, adding: “Music is an artistic expression, a vehicle through which to challenge political, social and financial structures. We support each artist’s freedom to take decisions about using their platform. It is up to individual artists to decide how they choose to demonstrate their views. The circumstances of such decisions will vary from artist to artist and show to show, and only those involved will be in a position to judge the best course of action. We would caution against people pressuring and making assumptions about the views of others.”

Pressure has also been directed towards the festivals to cut ties with sponsors linked to Israel. Massive Attack, Idles and Eno were among dozens of artists who were not booked to play at TGE but signed an open letter launched in April calling for it to drop Barclays as a partner.

The letter said the artists were “drawing inspiration” from Artists Against Apartheid. “A Barclays boycott was a key part of ending apartheid in South Africa, after thousands of people closed their accounts with Barclays to pressure them to withdraw investments from South Africa,” it reads.

“We are now looking closely at a festival’s sponsors in advance of confirming any appearance”

It’s yet to be seen how upcoming Barclays-sponsored festivals, which include the UK’s Camp Bestival and Summertime Ball, will respond to – or be impacted by – artists’ political interest in the Gaza-Israel war. Isle of Wight Festival declined to comment for this IQ story and Latitude Festival did not respond.

Denmark’s ENGAGE Festival is a recent example of an event that has dropped its sponsor amid controversy. The Copenhagen festival, organised by the Veterans Foundation, has asked its defence industry partners to withdraw as a sponsor following criticism and confusion from some.

“Some cannot distinguish between Danish veterans and current international conflicts,” a spokesperson for the festival said. “The Veterans Foundation does not support war and will never take a stance on international conflicts that does not align with the Danish government. We do not collaborate with organisations or companies that oppose this.”

Pressure on festivals to remove controversial sponsors is not limited to music; Hay literary festival last week dropped its principal sponsor – investment firm Baillie Gifford – after boycotts from speakers and performers over the firm’s links to Israel and fossil fuel companies.

Whether festivals change tact with sponsorships or not, one agent suggested to IQ that the recent furore may prompt more caution with booking.

“We support our artists in whatever choice they make,” they told IQ. “But we are now looking closely at a festival’s sponsors in advance of confirming any appearance.”

MMF’s Coldrick says such vigilance is business as usual in the record industry: “Clearly, if any artist is passionate about a particular cause or issue and that might have implications on the shows they play, then they need to make this known to their manager and agent. Those kinds of conversations are quite standard when it comes to sync or brand deals. Going forward, maybe they need to be standard in live music too.”

 


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Israel protests shroud Eurovision final build-up

The build-up to the 68th Eurovision Song Contest has been marred by protests over Israel’s inclusion in the event.

Israeli singer Eden Golan qualified for tomorrow’s (11 May) grand final at Sweden’s Malmö Arena after a public vote. The 20-year-old received a mixed reaction from the audience during last night’s semi-final and had been booed during rehearsals the previous evening.

Eurovision has faced boycott calls over Israel’s participation in the 2024 contest, amid the ongoing war and escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Thousands of pro-Palestinian protestors gathered in the streets of Malmö yesterday. The Guardian reports that further protests, and an alternative concert, which organisers have billed as “a song contest without genocide”, are planned for Saturday.

A smaller demonstration in support of Israel also reportedly took place.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organises the competition, allowed Israel to compete after it changed the lyrics to its song, originally titled October Rain, which was understood to reference the 7 October attacks by Hamas, breaching Eurovision’s rules on political neutrality. It has since been renamed Hurricane and features amended lyrics.

“It is truly such an honour to be here on stage, representing [Israel] with pride,” said Golan, as per the BBC. “I’m so grateful for everyone who voted and took part in supporting us, and me.”

“The European Broadcasting Union acknowledges the depth of feeling and the strong opinions that this year’s Eurovision Song Contest – set against the backdrop of a terrible war in the Middle East – has provoked”

According to Al Jezeera, About 1,139 people were killed in the coordinated 7 October attacks according to Israeli authorities – including more than 360 in the Supernova festival massacre – while over 34,904 people have since been killed in Gaza, and 78,514 wounded.

The EBU released a statement last month regarding the “abuse and harassment” of Eurovision artists.

“The European Broadcasting Union acknowledges the depth of feeling and the strong opinions that this year’s Eurovision Song Contest – set against the backdrop of a terrible war in the Middle East – has provoked,” says Jean Philip De Tender, deputy director general of the EBU. “We understand that people will want to engage in debate and express their deeply held views on this matter. We have all been affected by the images, stories and the unquestionable pain suffered by those in Israel and in Gaza.

“However, we wish to address the concerns and discussions surrounding this situation, especially the targeted social media campaigns against some of our participating artists.”

De Tender continues: “The decision to include any broadcaster, including the Israeli’ broadcaster Kan, in the Eurovision Song Contest is the sole responsibility of the EBU’s governing bodies and not that of the individual artists. These artists come to Eurovision to share their music, culture, and the universal message of unity through the language of music.

“The EBU has previously explained the reasoning for the inclusion of KAN and the differences between them as an independent broadcaster and previous participants who were excluded. Constructive debate is a positive consequence of such decisions.

“However, while we strongly support freedom of speech and the right to express opinions in a democratic society, we firmly oppose any form of online abuse, hate speech, or harassment directed at our artists or any individuals associated with the contest. This is unacceptable and totally unfair, given the artists have no role in this decision.”

“We urge everyone to engage in respectful and constructive dialogue and support the artists who are working tirelessly – on what is a music and entertainment show”

He adds: “The EBU is dedicated to providing a safe and supportive environment for all participants, staff, and fans of the Eurovision Song Contest. We will continue to work closely with all stakeholders to promote the values of respect, inclusivity, and understanding, both online and offline.

“We urge everyone to engage in respectful and constructive dialogue and support the artists who are working tirelessly – on what is a music and entertainment show – to share their music with the world.”

Meanwhile, Sky News reports that the Netherlands’ Eurovision entry Joost Klein is under EBU investigation due to an “incident”.

“We are currently investigating an incident that was reported to us involving the Dutch artist,” says an EBU statmement. “He will not be rehearsing until further notice. We have no further comment at this time and will update in due course.”

Malmö Arena, owned by Parkfast Arena, can host up to 15,000 people for music events depending on the position of the stage, according to the venue’s website. It will be the seventh time Sweden will host to Eurovision and coincides with the 50th anniversary of ABBA’s first triumph. Former winners Charlotte Perrelli, Carola and Conchita Wurst are set to perform an homage to the legendary Swedish band during Saturday’s ceremony.

Latvia, Austria, the Netherlands, Norway, Greece, Estonia, Switzerland, Georgia and Armenia also qualified for tomorrow’s final. Last year’s trophy was taken home by Sweden’s contestant, Loreen, who won the competition, hosted by Liverpool, UK, on behalf of Ukraine, for the second time. Croatia are the current favourites to win the 2024 contest.

 


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SXSW responds to criticism amid artist boycott

South By Southwest (SXSW) says it “fully” respects the decision of dozens of artists to pull out of this year’s event in protest of the festival’s ties to the US Army and defence industry.

Acts such as Squirrel Flower, Kneecap, Lambrini Girls, Sprints, Proper, Eliza McLamb, Mamalarky, Scowl, Gel and Okay Shalom cancelled scheduled sets in response to the military’s support for Israel in the war in Gaza.

SXSW 2024 runs in Austin, Texas, from 8-16 March and typically attracts more than 300,000 attendees to each annual edition.

The army is listed as a “super sponsor” of the event, which has also agreed a number of defence industry partnerships.

Texas governor Greg Abbott posted yesterday (12 March) on X: “Bands pull out of SXSW over US Army sponsorship. Bye. Don’t come back. Austin remains the HQ for the Army Futures Command. San Antonio is Military City USA. We are proud of the US military in Texas. If you don’t like it, don’t come here.”

The tweet prompted a response from SXSW, which stressed it “does not agree” with Abbott’s viewpoint.

“We fully respect the decision these artists made to exercise their right to free speech”

“We are an organisation that welcomes diverse viewpoints,” it said via its official social media accounts. “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.

“Across the globe, we are witnessing unspeakable tragedies, the rise of repressive regimes, and the increasing spread of violent conflict. It’s more crucial than ever that we come together to solve these greater humanitarian issues.”

The festival went on to explain its reasoning regarding the controversial sponsorship agreements.

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

“The Army’s sponsorship is part of our commitment to bring forward ideas that shape our world. In regard to Collins Aerospace, they participated this year as a sponsor of two SXSW Pitch categories, giving entrepreneurs visibility and funding for potentially game-changing work.

“We have and will continue to support human rights for all. The situation in the Middle East is tragic, and it illuminates the heightened importance of standing together against injustice.”

 


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Artists withdraw from SXSW over Israel-Gaza war

A number of artists are boycotting this year’s South By Southwest (SXSW) in protest of the event’s sponsorship deal with the US Army.

The BBC reports that acts including Kneecap, Lambrini Girls, Sprints, Proper, Eliza McLamb, Mamalarky, Scowl, Gel, Okay Shalom and Squirrel Flower have pulled out of the conference and showcase festival in response to the military’s support for Israel in the war in Gaza.

The army is listed as a “super sponsor” of SXSW, which is currently being held in Austin, Texas, from 8-16 March.

Belfast rap trio Kneecap, who were due to play three shows, say they will no longer perform “in solidarity with the Palestinian people”.

“We cannot in good conscience attend an arts festival that has ‘the US Army’ as a ‘super sponsor’ and is platforming RTX (formerly Raytheon), Collins Aerospace and BAE Systems,” says in a series of statements shared by the group on social media.

“We did consider only playing ‘unofficial events’ but this would still contribute to the festival indirectly.”

“We can’t affiliate ourselves whatsoever with SXSW without our solidarity becoming totally inauthentic”

The band say the decision will have “a significant financial impact on Kneecap, both on lost income and on logistical costs already incurred”, but add: “it isn’t an iota of hardship when compared with unimaginable suffering” of the people of Gaza.

Earlier, Brighton duo Lambrini Girls announced their withdrawal, tweeting on X: “We won’t be going to Austin whatsoever. For transparency, the reason it’s taken us a few days to pull out the festival is because we received funding from PRS Foundation to play. We were trying to find a way out of the situation whilst keeping our moral integrity intact and not having to pay thousands of pounds at the same time.

“That really just isn’t possible. Money has to be repaid and we can’t affiliate ourselves whatsoever with SXSW without our solidarity becoming totally inauthentic.”

In addition, Squirrel Flower tweeted that she was pulling out of her official SXSW showcases “in protest of SXSW’s ties to the defence industry and in support of the Palestinian people”, while Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Okay Shalom posted on Instagram: “There’s always a right thing to do and it’s almost never as complicated as the establishment wants you to believe. and sometimes it costs you a dream, but a dream is a dream and not a life.”

The US Army tells the BBC it was “proud to be a sponsor of SXSW, and to have the opportunity to showcase America’s Army… explore new ideas and insights, and create dynamic industry partnerships,” while SXSW did not respond to a request for comment.

 


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Supernova survivors sue Israeli government for $56m

Forty-two survivors of the 7 October massacre at Israel’s Supernova Sukkot festival are suing the government’s security forces for NIS 200 million ($56 million) in damages.

The plaintiffs filed the claim at the Tel Aviv District Court on Monday (1 January) against the Shin Bet security service, the Israel Defense Forces, the Israel Police, and the Defense Ministry, alleging multiple instances in which they failed in their duties.

“One phone call separated the plaintiffs’ lives and the integrity of their bodies and souls from the destruction of their lives,” reads the lawsuit, which is the largest tort claim ever filed in Israel against the state.

“A single phone call by IDF officials to the commander responsible for the party to disperse it immediately in view of the expected danger would have saved lives and prevented the physical and mental injuries of hundreds of partygoers, including the plaintiffs,” it continues. “The negligence and the gross oversight is beyond belief.”

According to the lawsuit, 364 attendees were killed and 40 kidnapped after Hamas stormed the second day of the trance music gathering, held near the Gaza-Israel border, as part of a wider coordinated attack on Israel. The festival, near Kibbutz Re’im, was attended by 3,500.

The claim cited reports following the massacre, which claimed senior officers in the Gaza Division expressed concerns over the party, and that the operations commander opposed it being held. It also noted that Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar held consultations the night before, and even sent a special operations team to the border the night before the onslaught.

“On the night between October 6 and October 7, at least two IDF assessments were held due to unusual incidents on the Gaza Strip border, one near midnight and another assessment close to 3 am, several hours before the Hamas attack,” the lawsuit reads.

“The negligence and the gross oversight is beyond belief”

The plaintiffs said that the IDF was unable to provide adequate security for the event since many soldiers were at home over the Simchat Torah holiday. Only 27 police officers were stationed at the festival, most of them not in possession of long arms, as required when based near the border.

Attorney Shimon Buchbut, a retired Air Force commander cited as an expert in the lawsuit, said that the IDF was negligent in giving approval for the party and that any reasonable official would not have allowed it to go ahead.

Among the damages listed in the lawsuit are loss of earnings, pain and suffering, loss of life’s pleasures, loss of future earnings, and medical expenses.

Executives from Israel’s live music industry have called the Hamas attack the “biggest-ever disaster at a music festival”, adding that business will be paused for the foreseeable future.

Festival organiser Tribe of Nova said it was “shocked and pained” in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy.

“This is the epitome of pure and unbridled evil, the horrifying and senseless murder of countless innocent angels, whose only ‘crime’ was being Jewish and living in Israel,” it added.

Nearly three months into the war, the death toll from Israeli attacks on Gaza surpassed 22,000 yesterday (3 January), according to reports from The Guardian.

 


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Israel holds memorial at Supernova festival site

A memorial service has been held at the festival site in Israel where Hamas killed 364 concertgoers and took dozens of others hostage.

Hamas stormed the Supernova Sukkot trance music gathering, held in the desert near Kibbutz Re’im, less than 5km from the Gaza Strip, on 7 October as part of the coordinated attacks on Israel.

According to Boise State Public Radio, yesterday’s memorial featured music from Israeli DJs, while the faces of the victims were projected onto screens. The event was hastily put together as the army had given clearance only four days before.

“The charred cars have been hauled away, and roads are being repaved, but there are still a few mangled beach chairs and broken coolers,” reports NPR‘s Eleanor Bardsley.

The Jerusalem Post states that Israeli DJ RITMO paid a separate tribute to the victims yesterday morning by playing a set in front of their photos, which were hung up onto wooden posts in the otherwise empty field. An Israeli flag made out of sunflowers was placed in front of the photos.

Supernova was attended by around 4,000 people, but while the attack was the deadliest ever assault on a music event, police believe the perpetrators only became aware a major event was taking place in the Re’im area and headed towards it after police began dispersing festival-goers because of the wider attacks.

Supernova was organised by promoter Tribe of Nova and was staged under Brazil’s Universo Paralello brand

The death toll from the massacre was initially estimated to be at least 260 people, but has since been raised by more than 100. A 21-year-old woman abducted from the festival was among the 17 hostages freed by Hamas last weekend on the second day of the Israel-Hamas truce.

Supernova was organised by promoter Tribe of Nova and was staged under Brazil’s Universo Paralello brand. Acts included Artifex, Aladin, Astral Projection, Flare, Jackalon, Jumpstreet, Kido, Libra, Man With no Name, Noface, Protonica, Rocky Tilbor, Shove, Spectra Sonics, Swarup and Wegha.

Executives from Israel’s live music industry have called the Hamas attack the “biggest-ever disaster at a music festival”, adding that business will be paused for the foreseeable future.

Tribe of Nova’s Omri Sassi and Nimrod Arnin paid tribute to the victims at an official memorial ceremony held earlier this month at Kibbutz Sdot Yam.

“We went through something that we had no control over, we will take care of everyone and help everyone,” they said. “We love the country. We will dance again and that will be our victory.”

Sassi and Arnin, who both lost relatives in the 7 October attack, also reportedly staged a tribute concert for the victims in Sdot Yam, a kibbutz near Caesarea.

 


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Israel festival death toll raised by 100

The death toll from the massacre at Israel’s Supernova festival has been raised to more than 360, according to a new report.

It was originally reported that at least 260 people were killed and dozens taken hostage after Hamas stormed the psy-trance music gathering, held in the desert near Kibbutz Re’im, not far from the Gaza Strip, last month.

The Times of Israel, via TV station Channel 12, reports the revised death count equates to a third of the 1,200 people killed in the coordinated 7 October attacks on Israel and makes up half of all civilian casualties.

Supernova was attended by around 4,000 people, but while the attack was the deadliest ever assault on a music event, police believe Hamas was unaware of the festival in the lead-up to the massacre.

Channel 12 says that investigators reached that conclusion after questioning of captured terrorists, and also because they did not find maps on the bodies of dead terrorists directing them to the event, in contrast to the other massacres that day.

“We will dance again and that will be our victory”

The TV report added that police believe the perpetrators only became aware a major event was taking place in the Re’im area and headed towards it after police began dispersing festival-goers because of the wider attacks.

Supernova Sukkot organisers Tribe of Nova paid tribute to the victims at an official memorial ceremony last week.

“We went through something that we had no control over, we will take care of everyone and help everyone,” said Omri Sassi and Nimrod Arnin at the memorial, held at Kibbutz Sdot Yam. “We love the country. We will dance again and that will be our victory.”

Staged under the Universo Paralello brand, the Brazil-hailing festival was being held in Israel for the first time. Acts included Artifex, Aladin, Astral Projection, Flare, Jackalon, Jumpstreet, Kido, Libra, Man With no Name, Noface, Protonica, Rocky Tilbor, Shove, Spectra Sonics, Swarup and Wegha.

Executives from Israel’s live music industry have called the Hamas attack the “biggest-ever disaster at a music festival”, adding that business will be paused for the foreseeable future.

 


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Supernova fest organisers: ‘We will dance again’

Organisers of Israel’s Supernova Sukkot festival have paid tribute to the victims of the massacre at an official memorial ceremony.

At least 260 people were killed and others taken hostage in the deadliest-ever attack on a music event after Hamas stormed the second day of the trance music gathering, held near the Gaza-Israel border on 7 October, as part of a wider coordinated attack on Israel.

“We went through something that we had no control over, we will take care of everyone and help everyone,” said Omri Sassi and Nimrod Arnin of promoter Tribe of Nova during this week’s memorial, held at Kibbutz Sdot Yam. “We love the country. We will dance again and that will be our victory.”

Staged under the Universo Paralello brand, the festival had attracted around 3,000 people to the desert near Kibbutz Re’im, not far from the Gaza Strip. Acts included Artifex, Aladin, Astral Projection, Flare, Jackalon, Jumpstreet, Kido, Libra, Man With no Name, Noface, Protonica, Rocky Tilbor, Shove, Spectra Sonics, Swarup and Wegha.

Sassi lost four relatives in the attack, while Arnin lost his sister.

“At the happiest and most intense moment of the day, terrorists came bursting in, launched a missile attack and started murdering people”

Speaking to Walla News, via National Post, the pair added: “The Nova community suffered the largest number of murders. This was the largest event we have done to date, a lot of people came from abroad to spend time at the event.

“At some point, at the height of the event, at sunrise, at the happiest and most intense moment of the day, terrorists came bursting in, launched a missile attack and started murdering people.”

Tribe of Nova has launched a fundraiser to support victims.

“We send endless love and a big big hug to all the members of the tribe, while wishing a speedy and complete recovery to all the wounded and injured and praying for the strengthening of their families and the spouses of the murdered,” says the organisation. “We will not leave anyone behind, we will spread this one and only truth to the rest of the world and bring out a bright and strong light that will accompany us in all our actions, until good prevails over evil.”

Executives from Israel’s live music industry called the Hamas attack the “biggest-ever disaster at a music festival”, adding that business will be paused for the foreseeable future.

The BBC reports that 1,200 people were killed and more than 200 taken hostage in Hamas’ 7 October attacks, while the Hamas-run health ministry says more than 11,000 people have been killed in retaliatory strikes by Israel, including 4,500 children.

 

 


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MTV EMAs cancelled out of ‘abundance of caution’

The 2023 MTV EMAs have been cancelled “out of an abundance of caution” amid the escalation of the Israel-Gaza conflict.

First held in Berlin, Germany in 1994, the annual awards show was due to take place in France at Paris Nord Villepinte on Sunday 5 November and broadcast live in more than 150 countries.

Around a dozen acts had been lined up to perform including Anne-Marie, David Guetta, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Jung Kook, Rema, Sabrina Carpenter and The Kid Laroi. Paris last hosted the awards in 1995.

“Given the volatility of world events, we have decided not to move forward with the 2023 MTV EMAs out of an abundance of caution for the thousands of employees, crew members, artists, fans, and partners who travel from all corners of the world to bring the show to life,” says a statement from awards organiser Paramount.

“As we watch the devastating events in Israel and Gaza continue to unfold, this does not feel like a moment for a global celebration”

As per the BBC, Palestinian health officials say more than 3,700 people have been killed in Gaza since Hamas attacked Israel on 7 October, killing more than 1,400 people. At least 260 people were killed after Hamas stormed trance music festival Supernova Sokkot as part of the coordinated offensive.

“The MTV EMAs are an annual celebration of global music,” adds the statement. “As we watch the devastating events in Israel and Gaza continue to unfold, this does not feel like a moment for a global celebration. With thousands of lives already lost, it is a moment of mourning. Voting is continuing and the winning artists will receive their MTV EMA Awards.”

Paramount adds that it is looking forward to hosting the MTV EMAs again in November 2024.

France has been on its highest security alert since the fatal stabbing of a schoolteacher in the town of Arras last week.

 


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Supernova tragedy: Promoter issues new statement

The company behind Israel’s Supernova Sukkot festival has issued a fresh statement in response to the 7 October massacre.

At least 260 people were killed after Hamas stormed the second day of the trance music gathering, held near the Gaza-Israel border, as part of a wider coordinated attack on Israel.

Festival organiser Tribe of Nova said it was “shocked and pained” in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, and have now posted a lengthy update on its Facebook page.

Expressing its “sincere and heartfelt condolences to all the families, friends, partners and couples who have lost their loved ones or have been affected by the tragic events”, the promoter adds: “What was planned to be the happiest and largest electronic music festival of the Nova Tribe has turned into a scene of unspeakable tragedy, an inhumane war crime, an unprecedented violation of the most basic human values.

“This is the epitome of pure and unbridled evil, the horrifying and senseless murder of countless innocent angels, whose only ‘crime’ was being Jewish and living in Israel.

“It’s no wonder that these agents of darkness targets this joyous gathering of children of light, for their sole and singular purpose is to bring darkness upon the world. But we won’t let them do that! We will keep fighting until we reach our objective adorned on our tribe’s flag: to spread light throughout the world, with the help of the holy people of Israel and the Nova Tribe.”

“This was the largest terrorist attack in Israeli history”

According to the BBC, Israel says that 199 people are being held hostage in Gaza after Hamas gunmen infiltrated Israel just over a week ago, killing more than 1,400 people. More than 2,700 people in Gaza have reportedly been killed in retaliatory strikes by Israel.

Held as part of Brazilian festival franchise Universo Paralello, Supernova featured artists such as Aladin, Artifex, Astral Projection, Flare, Jackalon, Jumpstreet, Kido, Libra, Man With no Name, Noface, Protonica, Rocky Tilbor, Shove, Spectra Sonics, Swarup and Wegha.

“We were brutally attacked by hundreds of terrorists, heartless, ruthless and lacking any mercy,” continues Tribe of Nova. “They murdered in cold blood hundreds of women and men, our beloved Tribe of Nova members, as well as numerous innocent Israeli civilians.

“It was a heinous, terrifying, brutal massacre of innocent civilians from all over the country and the world, the best and most among us. This was the largest terrorist attack in Israeli history. Taking the lives of 1,400 pure and innocent souls with over 150 remain[ing] missing, thousands left physically injured to varying degrees, and tens of thousands psychologically, emotionally and mentally broken.”

Executives from Israel’s live music industry have called the Hamas attack the “biggest-ever disaster at a music festival”, adding that business will be paused for the foreseeable future.

“Our production team is focused on providing the right and extensive emotional and mental support to everyone involved”

The Kibbutz Re’im festival site is still not entirely secure even after days of fighting, with Tribe of Nova working “day and night” to assist with search and rescue operations.

“At this moment, our production team is focused on providing the right and extensive emotional and mental support to everyone involved. This is the most important thing in this moment,” adds the promoter.

“We are working tirelessly, day and night, conducting search and rescue operations, helping identify the victims and updating their families. Searching for those located in the disaster area, or other locations, recovering equipment from the site and its surroundings and, above all, ensuring the security of Israel. This is our sole goal, and we will stand behind it and fulfil it to the best of our abilities. We will not stop.

“We are present at the disaster site and its vicinity day in and day out, working hand in hand with security forces and authorities to help find answers and bring back all that those who can return to their families and friends. At the moment, this is our top priority. In the meantime, it’s essential for us to convey the following message: Our strength lies in our unity! We are in a war for our home, and it’s essential that we all come together, strengthen each other, and unite under one great, shining light to overcome this dark period as quickly as possible.”

Meanwhile, the German Music Council, the Music Industry Forum, GEMA and GVL have declared their solidarity with the people of Israel in the wake of the attack.

“The German Music Council and the Music Industry Forum join the German Cultural Council’s call for solidarity with the people of Israel and are horrified by the attacks on civilians,” says a joint statement. “Hamas’ terrorist attack and the suffering it has brought to people are beyond words and a new, terrible wake-up call that anti-Semitism must have no place in our society.

“We stand against anti-Semitic hatred and our condolences go out to the victims and their families who were deliberately chosen as targets of terror and torn from their lives. The German music industry stands with Jews against any form of anti-Semitism.”

 

 


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