Following the controversy over Lana Del Rey playing Meteor Festival in Israel, which she then doubled down on defending before subsequently dropping off, another band has more quietly left the bill. American pysch-pop band Of Montreal has announced via a post on Instagram that they too will not participate in the festival.
Del Rey’s plan was, in an attempt to stay neutral, to try to book gigs in both Israel and Palestine and the inability to make that happen logistically is what forced her cancellation. Of Montreal on the other hand took a more political approach, specifically condemning the actions of the Israeli government. The post reads that the cancellation is due to “the political and military leaders of the country continue[ing] their murderous and brutal policies against the Palestinian people,” and that now is not the time for escapism through music but real activism and protests against the state’s government.
The band offer that they have nothing but love for the peace loving citizens of Israel as well as the peace loving citizens of Palestine. Read the entire statement below.
After deep consideration, we have decided to cancel our appearance at the @meteorfestival 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. Now is not the time for escapism and celebrations. Now is the time for activism and protests against Israeli apartheid, Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the human rights atrocities being carried out everyday in Gaza by Israeli forces. We have so much love for the peace loving Israeli people and an equal amount of love for the peace loving Palestinians. This is in no way an indictment of the Israeli people in general. We simply cannot turn a blind eye to this crisis. To ignore the call to stand up in support of an oppressed group of humans is one of the worst things one can do. I want to extend a sincere apology to our Israeli fans for canceling the show. Being a citizen of the USA I understand full well how much it sucks to be treated like a purveyor of evil simply because of where one was born. I hope I didn’t come off too sanctimoniously in this post. We would love to come back to Israel to perform again when the time is right
Other notable artists to cancel their appearance at the festival include electronic artist Schlohmo, United States DJ Volvox, South African duo Black Motion and European DJs Shanti Celeste, Leon Vynehall and DJ Seinfeld, singer Selda, Australian DJ Mall Grab and Israeli electronic duo Zenobia.
If you’re wondering why Roger Waters has taken an outspoken stance on this festival — well, he hasn’t. He recently posted on Facebook urging Kamasi Washington (whom he erroneously calls the “only notable standout” on the lineup, ignoring the presence of Pusha T, Flying Lotus, Soulwax, Ariel Pink, Little Simz and many more) to pull out of the festival.
Photo Credit: Owen Ela