"It's important for me to perform in both Palestine and Israel and treat all my fans equally"
Lana Del Rey has pulled out of Israel’s Meteor festival following controversy about her appearance.
On Twitter, Del Rey posted a statement earlier this evening (August 31) about her decision to withdraw from the festival.
The singer wrote: “It’s important for me to perform in both Palestine and Israel and treat all my fans equally.”
“Unfortunately it hasn’t been possible to line up both visits with such short notice and therefore I’m postponing my appearance at the Meteor Festival until a time when I can schedule visits for both my Israeli and Palestinian fans, as well as hopefully other countries in the region.”
The singer has been urged to cancel her performance at the festival next month by pressure groups who have previously lobbied against shows by artists including Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Lorde and Radiohead.
But Del Rey insisted that playing the gig was not a “political statement” or an endorsement of the Israeli government.
“We don’t always agree with the politics of the places we play within or even in our own country – sometimes we don’t even feel safe, depending on how far abroad we travel – but we are musicians and we dedicate our lives to travelling on the road”, the singer explained in a lengthy Twitter post (August 19), which you can see in full below.
Del Rey’s decision to play in Israel also drew a response from Roger Waters, who wrote an open letter to the artist on his Facebook page on Tuesday (August 22).
“I have no doubt the Israeli promoters are paying top dollar, they are well known for that, but is the price worth passing up your moment on the road to Damascus and abandoning your Palestinian brothers and sisters to their fate in their hour of need?” he wrote – see his post below.
Del Rey issued another statement on the show shortly after Waters’ post went online, in which she responded to Waters by writing: “I read your statement about taking action even when you believe in neutrality, I totally understand what you’re saying and this is my action.”
Del Rey’s original statement was also refuted by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI),who urged the singer to change her stance.
“We urge you to reconsider,” a statement from the group confirmed.
“We doubt that you would have played in apartheid South Africa; likewise, artists refuse to play in apartheid Israel. Please respect our nonviolent picket line, and cancel your Meteor performance.”
The decision to play the show comes after Del Rey previously cancelled an Israel show in 2014 that was set to be her debut in the country.
However, now the singer has postponed her appearance at the festival, the group thanked the star, saying: “Thank you @LanaDelRey for your principled decision to withdraw from Israel’s Meteor Festival.”
Last year, both Nick Cave and Radiohead both performed in Israel – with the latter causing a lengthy row with Pink Floyd’s Roger Walters.
In contrast, Lorde bowed to pressure and cancelled a 2018 show in December last year.