Lana Del Rey drops music festival appearance in Israel after pressure from activists
Pop singer Lana Del Rey has postponed her appearance at the Meteor Festival in Israel after backlash from activists and fans. In a tweet posted Friday, the musician wrote that she won’t be playing in the region until she is able to schedule concerts for her fans in the Palestinian territories and Israel.
Her decision comes less than two weeks after she posted a defense of her decision to play the Tel Aviv-based festival, writing that “we signed onto the show with the intention that it would be performed for the kids there and my plan was for it to be done w a loving energy w a thematic emphasis on peace. If you don’t agree with it, I get it. I see both sides.”
Since announcing her intention, though, Del Rey became the latest musician struggling to reach fans while having to wade into the politics of the region. Last year the singer Lorde canceled her scheduled concert in Tel Aviv after similar moves by artists including Elvis Costello, Annie Lennox, Carlos Santana, Roger Waters and Brian Eno.
On Friday, Del Rey did the same via a tweet.
In titling her note “Rescheduling,” Del Rey seems to express optimism that these pair of gigs will come to pass. Whether that’s realistic depends as much on politicians as booking agents.
Del Rey isn’t the only artist to back out of performing at the Meteor Festival, which runs Thursday through Saturday. The Los Angeles electronic producer and DJ Henry Laufer, who performs as Shlohmo, announced on Saturday that he was dropping out.
On Twitter, he wrote: “I had said no to playing there for years and the only reason I could find to say yes was if I were to donate my fee to Gaza relief. But after much dialogue I found it to be a more important statement to say no all together than to donate.”
The activist and former Pink Floyd member Waters, following calls for an overall Meteor boycott by the Palestine-rights campaign Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, has now set his sights on L.A. jazz composer Kamasi Washington’s booking. In an open letter to Washington posted to Facebook, Waters wrote, in part, “I had assumed it would be a given that you would cancel.” After praising his work, Waters added, “Given that Lana Del Rey has now cancelled, you are the only notable standout.”
Despite Waters’ claim, though, many notable acts remain committed to performing, including Los Angeles artists Ariel Pink, Flying Lotus and Rhye, as well as musicians Pusha T, DJ Koze, Laraaji, Mura Masa and more.
1:30 p.m.: This article was updated to include mention that Roger Waters’ request that Kamasi Washington cancel his performance followed calls for an overall boycott by the Palestine-rights group BDS.
This article was originally published at 11 a.m.
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