The German music festival Ruhrtriennale has reinvited Young Fathers to perform at their 2018 event after they initially dropped the trio for their support of the pro-Palestinian movement Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS).
Back on June 13, Ruhrtriennale announced that they had removed Young Fathers from the line-up of their festival on the basis that the Mercury Prize-winning group had “regrettably failed to distance itself from BDS”. The BDS movement aims to “end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians” and make Israel comply with international law.
However, Ruhrtriennale have now performed a U-turn on their decision by reinviting the band to perform at the festival, which takes place from 18 August to 30 September.
The festival’s artistic director Stefanie Carp said in a statement that she hoped the band would explain their political position on stage during their reinstated performance.
“I wish to be able to invite a band such as the Young Fathers for their music and their lyrics – although I personally completely reject the boycott strategy of the BDS,” Carp said.
“As a German, it is, of course, difficult for me to be linked to a movement that boycotts Israel, but I have invited the Young Fathers and not the BDS. In many interviews, the Young Fathers have made it credible that they reject anti-Semitism in any form.”
A spokesperson for Young Fathers has told The Guardian that the band are now unable to take up the reinvitation to perform.
An open letter signed by the likes of Patti Smith, Massive Attack and Jarvis Cocker which was published in The Guardian yesterday (June 26) has also criticised Ruhrtriennale’s original decision to remove Young Fathers from the line-up.