Indie band Of Montreal joins Lana Del Rey, other acts in pulling out of music festival in Israel


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The American indie pop band Of Montreal is the latest artist or group to cancel its participation in the Meteor Festival in northern Israel.

The three-day festival begins on Thursday.

“After exhausting all of the different possible ways of justifying playing an Israeli party festival, while the political and military leaders of the country continue their murderous and brutal policies against the Palestinian people, we came to the realization that there is no actual appropriate move other than to cancel the show,” the band said in a statement early Wednesday.

The band’s decision comes days after headliner Lana Del Rey cancelled her participation in the music festival, saying it was because she was unable to arrange a second performance for her Palestinian fans.

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A day after Del Rey cancelled, American electronic musician Shlohmo also announced on Twitter that he would not perform. He had initially decided to perform and donate his earnings to the people of Gaza.

About a dozen artists and groups have pulled out of the Meteor Festival in recent weeks despite agreeing to appear, after they came under pressure from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

Following Del Rey’s cancellation, Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, who supports the BDS movement and who contacted Del Rey directly to drop her participation, turned his public attention to American jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington, despite contacting Washington and his publicist privately last month.

“Given that Lana Del Rey has now cancelled, you are the only notable standout. Please don’t play the Meteor Festival – פסטיבל מטאור in Tel Aviv. To do so would be a betrayal of everyone who ever stood up for civil or human rights anywhere,” Waters wrote in a post on Facebook.

Among the artists that have cancelled are: South African duo Black Motion, American DJ Volvox, British DJ Leon Vynehall, Turkish singer Selda, Nazareth electronic duo Zenobia, and Australian DJ Mall Grab.

Several other artists who were asked to perform in the festival declined to do so citing BDS, according to reports.

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