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Artists call on The Great Escape Festival to drop sponsor due to ties to Israel arms companies

Artists call on The Great Escape Festival to drop sponsor due to ties to Israel arms companies

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Lambrini Girls (Photo: Marilena Vlachopoulou)

Solidarity groups have posted an open statement for the Brighton new music festival The Great Escape to drop a sponsor due to the Barclay’s bank’s financial ties to the bombing of Palestine.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign UK and How To Catch A Pig posted an open statement to the festival signed by 200 artists including 20% of the acts announced to play The Great Escape this year, some of whom have already pulled out of the festival to show solidarity with Palestine.

Barclay’s are a sponsor of the festival and are on the BDS list, due to the bank’s investment and loan ties to companies who supply arms to Israel.

Artists/labels who have signed the open statement include Really Good Time, Cardinals, Lambrini Girls, Lvra, Trout, Alfie Templeman, Lauren Hibberd, Nightbus, Melanie Baker and more while Alcopop! Records, The Menstrual Cramps, Tom Rasmussen, Orchards, Other Half and Jasmine 4.T. have already pulled their performances.

The open call was also signed in solidarity by artists not playing the festival including Beak, Squid, Goat Girl, Big Joanie, Piglet, PVA, Meryl Streek and many more.

“We refuse to let music be used to whitewash human rights violations,” the statement reads. “We draw inspiration from Artists Against Apartheid, that helped end Apartheid in South Africa. A Barclay’s Boycott was a key part in ending Apartheid in South Africa, after thousands of people clsoed their accounts with Barclays to pressure them to withdraw investments from South Africa.”

Barclays withdrew from South Africa in 1986 after pressure for a sustained number of years.

Barclay’s is a sponsor at some major UK festivals including Latitude and Isle Of Wight.

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The open statement follows in the footsteps of the many acts, including all of these Irish musicians who cancelled their appearances at SXSW this past March, after the festival’s links with the US Army and defence companies emerged.


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I attended the festival last year.

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