Ithaca the Latest Band to Back Out of Download Festival in Protest of Sponsor’s Israeli Ties

In the last 24 hours, a number of bands have pulled out of this weekend’s Download Festival at Donnington Park in Leicestershire, England over the genocide in Gaza and a sponsor’s ties to Israel. This morning, we knew Pest Control, ScowlSpeed, and Zulu had all axed their upcoming performances, but in the last couple hours metalcore act Ithaca has joined their ranks in solidarity.

The main issue that’s caused the bands to pull out stems from the involvement of Barclays Bank as a major sponsor of the event. According to Pest Control’s statement, that bank in particular “oversees billions of dollars in investments and loans to companies whose weapons and technology are are used in Israel’s onslaught against the Palestinian people.”

Ithaca joined the effort, stating that they were part of a “younger generation of bands” that wanted to stand in solidarity for the people of Palestine.

“We will no longer be playing @DownloadFest. Whilst we hate letting anyone down, this moment of solidarity sends a powerful message to the organisers about where the younger generation of bands stand. FREE PALESTINE @FreePalestine”

According to the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, more than 40,000 people have been killed by Israeli airstrikes and bombardments since last October when Hamas terrorists attacked a music festival near the border of Israel and Gaza, killing hundreds of civilians. Though no one should say what Hamas did was right, any reasonable person can see that the deaths of 39,675 civilians and the displacement of more than 2 million people is a proportionate and reasonable response.

The boycott by bands isn’t being perpetrated in a vacuum. The  Palestine Solidarity Campaign and an associated campaign called Bands Boycott Barclays have targeted festivals in the past, with a similar boycott established for The Great Escape. Similar plans are in the works for the Isle of Wight Festival, Camp Bestival, and Latitude Festival.

As we said in our previous post, we wouldn’t be shocked to see even more younger bands walk away. You may think they’re throwing away a chance at exposure and furthering their careers, but for some people it’s about standing up for what they believe in. And that’s metal as fuck.


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