Artist News Gigs & Festivals Live Business

Lana Del Rey defends decision to play Israeli festival

By | Published on Tuesday 21 August 2018

Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey has defended her decision to go ahead with a show in Israel next month. She said that her scheduled appearance at the Meteor Festival in Galilee is “not a political statement or a commitment to the politics” of the country.

Acknowledging that many of her fans were “upset” by the booking, the musician said in a statement on Twitter: “I believe music is universal and should be used to bring us together. We signed on to the show with the intention that it would be performed for the kids there and my plan was for it to be done with a loving energy with a thematic emphasis on peace. If you don’t agree, I get it. I see both sides”.

“I would like to remind you that performing in [Israel] is not a political statement or a commitment to the politics there”, she continues. “Just as singing here in California doesn’t mean my views are in alignment with my current government’s opinions or sometimes inhuman actions”.

She concludes: “I’m a simple singer, I’m doing my best to navigate the waters of the constant tumultuous hardships in the war-torn countries all over the world that I travel through monthly. For the record, I’m doing the best I can and my intentions are better than most people’s that I know”.

Del Rey’s statement follows calls on international acts to pull out of the Meteor Festival from the Palestinian Campaign For The Academic And Cultural Boycott Of Israel. As well as Del Rey, those other international artists include Pusha T, Nina Kraviz, Soulwax, Flying Lotus and Ariel Pink.

Responding to Del Rey’s statement yesterday, the group said: “We urge you to reconsider. We doubt that you would have played in apartheid South Africa; likewise, artists refuse to play in apartheid Israel”.

Musicians performing in Israel has grown in controversy in recent years, of course. Radiohead went ahead with a show in Tel Aviv last year, Thom Yorke saying that the band “don’t endorse Netanyahu any more than Trump, but we still play in America”.

Nick Cave performed in the city last year saying that he was doing so in order to “make a stand against those people who are trying to shut down musicians, to bully musicians, to censor musicians, and to silence musicians”.

Lorde, meanwhile, did pull out of a show earlier this year following criticism.