Sam Smith‘s set at Summer In The City in Tel Aviv is no longer scheduled after festival organisers said the event’s first day was cancelled due to “unforeseeable problems”.
Smith was due to perform in Israel for the first time on May 31 but now the whole day has been scrapped. Ticketholders can still watch live music on June 1, with acts including Robbie Williams and Martin Garrix on the bill.
In a statement shared via The Jerusalem Post, festival organisers said: “Due to unforeseeable technical and logistical problems on May 31, the concerts of that evening (including Sam Smith) will not happen. The festival concerts of June 1 will continue as planned. Those who bought tickets are welcome to contact the company they bought the tickets from for a full refund.
“People who bought tickets for both days of the festival who want to keep the ticket for the second day will be refunded 25 per cent of the ticket price or cancel it and get a full refund.”
Papa Roach and Nuna were also scheduled for the first day. Smith is yet to comment on the cancellation.
It would have marked Smith’s first time performing in Israel. News that they were on the bill was previously met with backlash.
A social media campaign was launched by Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) supporters urging Smith not to perform. The campaign, using the #SamDontGo hashtag, involved people urging Smith to cancel the concert, as well as a petition that was launched to convince them to do so.
In a letter to Smith, Ghadir Shafie – the co-founder of Aswat, a Palestinian feminist centre for gender and sexual freedoms – also urged the singer not to perform. It’s not known if Smith cancelled their performance or not.
Last month, the pop star revealed that their concerts in Glasgow and Birmingham were rescheduled to late May due to illness.
NME caught Smith’s sold-out hometown show in London last month, with writer Nick Levine giving the show a five-star review.
“Smith has delivered a beautifully designed show that echoes their creative evolution from lovelorn balladeer to something edgier and more transgressive. And the multigenerational crowd stays with them to the finish. Smith’s musical metamorphosis probably isn’t complete yet, but for now, this live triumph feels like a new high watermark,” Levine wrote.