German music festival disinvites musician who endorsed BDS

Organizers of music festival in Düsseldorf withdraw invitation to Brian Eno over his longtime involvement in attempts to boycott Israel.

Elad Benari, Canada,

Brian Eno
Brian Eno
Reuters

Organizers of a music festival in Düsseldorf, Germany, withdrew their invitation to composer and singer Brian Eno over his longtime involvement in attempts to boycott Israel, JTA reported on Friday.

Eno was slated to appear at the Electricity Conference festival in October, but last week he was among a group of artists who signed a letter urging a boycott of the Eurovision Song Contest that will be held next year in Israel.

Festival organizer Rüdiger Esch told the Westdeutsche Zeitung that it “was the only right decision” to disinvite Eno because “we don’t want to invite anyone who supports activities against the State of Israel, even if you cannot agree with the current settlement policy.”

Esch said he had visited Israel for five days and that personal experience had made him more aware of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) directed at the country.

Organizers said Eno’s appearance had been planned since last November but his support for BDS had not been known to them.

Eno had been due to open an exhibit of his video paintings and lead a workshop at a local college, the newspaper reported. It also said that “a large sponsor of the festival” terminated its support because of Eno’s pro-BDS activity.

Eno has joined several BDS petitions in recent years, including the Artists Pledge for a cultural boycott of Israel that was launched in February 2015 by Artists for Palestine UK.

In 2016 he ordered an Israeli dance company to stop using his music at a dance festival in Italy after learning the local Israeli embassy was sponsoring the festival.

Directors Ken Loach and Mike Leigh and the musician Roger Waters were among the high profile figures who joined Eno in calling for a boycott of next year’s Eurovision. The signatories said they supported “the heartfelt appeal from Palestinian artists to boycott” the event “until Palestinians can enjoy freedom, justice and equal rights.”

Israel won the right to host the contest after Netta Barzilai’s victory in this year’s edition of the song contest. Earlier this week, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced that the 2019 Eurovision song contest will take place in Tel Aviv.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)








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