Artist News Gigs & Festivals

Pixies pull out of Israeli festival

By | Published on Tuesday 8 June 2010

Pixies have cancelled their first ever performance in Israel, seemingly in protest at the country’s recent adventure at sea when Israeli soldiers raided six ships carrying aid to Gaza, killing nine pro-Palestinian activists in the process.

Despite claims by the Israeli government that their military officers shot at activists in self-defence, the assault on the aid ships has been condemned worldwide, more so since Israel announced it would oppose any international inquiry into the incident, which occurred in international waters.

Pro-Palestine lobby groups often call on international artists to boycott Israel, and those efforts have presumably been stepped up since Israel’s latest misadventure. Pixies were due to play as part of Israel’s Pic.Nic festival in Tel Aviv tomorrow night, put pulled out yesterday citing “events beyond our control”.

They added: “The decision was not reached easily. We all know well the Israeli fans have been waiting for this visit for far too long. We’d like to extend our deepest apologies to the fans but events beyond all our control have conspired against us”.

Although the band didn’t specifically mention the aid ship attack, Pic.Nic organisers confirmed it had motivated Pixies’ decision to pull out of the event. Both Klaxons and the Gorillaz DJs have likewise pulled out of the festival on the same grounds.

Placebo’s set on the first night of the Pic.Nic festival did go ahead, however frontman Brian Molko did make a critical reference to the Gaza aid ship attack in a pre-gig interview. According to Billboard, when an Israeli journalist remarked “it’s important to [endorse] Israel these days”, Molko responded: “I suppose so; you know, if you decide to go sailing”.