The massive withdrawal of Artists at The Great Escape Festival

The massive withdrawal of Artists at The Great Escape Festival
The massive withdrawal of Artists at The Great Escape Festival

More than 100 artists have taken a firm stance by withdrawing from the festival, in protest against Barclays sponsorship

Almost a quarter of the bands and musicians scheduled for the Great Escape festival have joined a campaign called Bands Boycott Barclays (Music bands boycott Barclays). This campaign seeks to convince festivals to end their collaboration with the British bank, accused by these artists and activists of maintaining financial ties with companies that sell weapons to Israel. This action reflects growing awareness and activism within the arts community, highlighting ethical concerns about corporate funding and support.

The boycott campaign has gained significant support, with more than half of the artists scheduled for the festival backing the petition for Barclays to drop its sponsorship. Among the notable names who have expressed their disapproval are Idles, Kneecap, Brian Eno and Alfie Templeman. Furthermore, the band Mass Attack has added its voice to the protest, condemning the participation of Barclays and declaring that the involvement of a bank with such links has no place in cultural events.

The situation highlights a growing movement within the music industry to question and confront the funding sources and sponsors of cultural events. Artists are demonstrating that their ethics and principles can have a real and significant impact, influencing the structure and decisions of important events. This protest not only puts Barclays’ practices in the spotlight, but also sends a strong message to other corporations about the importance of aligning with ethical values ​​in their partnerships.

In response to the boycott, an alternative event called The Great Boycott, which will also be held in Brighton. This event will feature performances by artists such as Alice Russell, J Felix, Liv Wynter, Go For It Tribe, Ideal Living, among others. The Great Boycott is organized by Make Music Matteran organization that seeks to support musicians who have made the difficult decision to retire from The Great Escape, providing them with financial aid and a platform for their performances.

With the development of The Great Boycott, it is clear that the arts community is willing to take drastic measures to defend its principles and hold sponsors of cultural events accountable. This initiative promises to be more than just a protest, establishing itself as a new model for how artists can come together to create positive and meaningful change in the industry.

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