Within Temptation recently pulled out of the Byblos Music Festival when religious fanatics demanded Mashrou’ Leila be canceled from the show. Byblos Music Festival canceled Mashrou’ Leila’s performance “to prevent bloodshed” after an outcry from church leaders that charged the group with blasphemy, according to Euronews. Band members also allegedly received death threats online prior to the scheduled concert. As noted by the NME, Mashrou’ Leila vocalist Hamed Sinno is openly gay.
Within Temptation stood in solidarity with Mashrou’ Leila and stated that they support tolerance, freedom of speech and expression. The band certainly felt bad having to miss their Lebanese fans and said they looked forward to revisiting Lebanon and mentioned they had a great show there in the past.
We have decided to cancel our show in Byblos in solidarity with Mashrou’ Leila and in support of tolerance, freedom of speech and expression.
Read the full statement here: https://t.co/yKOtoKBPGz
— Within Temptation (@WTofficial) August 4, 2019
The statement from Within Temptation shared the following: “With a heavy heart we must inform you of the following. As you know, we were scheduled to play the Byblos Festival in Lebanon on August 7th. We have found out that another band called Mashrou’ Leila was pulled from the festival according to the festival committee due to security reasons after religious fanatics demanded their performance to be cancelled followed by violent threats. Apart from the fact that Lebanese authorities at this moment are not able to provide artists the security to perform in peace, we have decided to cancel our show in Byblos in solidarity with Mashrou’ Leila and in support of tolerance, freedom of speech and expression. For you, our fans in Lebanon, it hurts to make this decision. Our last show in Lebanon is still very vivid in our minds and hearts. We are looking forward to better days on which we will return to you in Lebanon.”
Within Temptation played a Los Angeles show on March 19 in support of the new album, Resist, that came out on February 1st. Along with the new songs, they also played “What Have You Done” from The Heart of Everything and “Stand my Ground” from The Silent Force. They also performed a beautiful acoustic version of “Ice Queen.”
Photo Credit: Ekaterina Gorbacheva