Dying Wish Threaten Dropping Off Download Festival Unless Controversial Sponsor Removed

In less than 24 hours, one of the biggest metal festivals in Europe will kick off when Download Festival XXI opens at Donnington Park in Leicestershire, England. And while that countdown clock is seen by many as a timer pointed at a fun weekend with good music, for hardcore band Dying Wish, it’s a ticking time bomb. That’s because if a controversial sponsor with ties to the Israeli military apparatus isn’t removed, they’re now threatening to join a growing list of bands that have dropped off the bill in protest.

Earlier today, Dying Wish posted their demands on social media, stating that they “will not be involved” with the festival unless Barclays Bank is no longer associated with the festival.

“Either Download will drop the Barclay’s sponsorship or we will be dropping the festival. We will not be involved without it. We appreciate your patience over the last few days as we sort this out. Shout out to every band and person involved in the boycott and FREE PALESTINE”

If the bank isn’t removed, Dying Wish (and possibly other bands) will join ScowlPest Control, Ithaca, Speed, and Zulu in refusing to perform this weekend. As you can probably gather, this is all about the continued siege of Gaza and the wanton murder of civilians by the Israeli government in response to the heinous terrorist attack perpetrated by Hamas back on October 7.

According to Pest Control’s statement as to why they left the bill, the bands allege that Barclays Bank “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.”

At one point, it was alleged that Tom Morello — yes, that Tom Morello — announced on stage at his London show that the bank pulled out of the festival on its own, but that hasn’t been confirmed. In fact, Download Festival organizers have yet to respond to the growing controversy, though at one point today the Barclays logo was removed from the festival’s website before it was added back a couple hours later.

The boycott by bands is being buoyed in part by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and an associated campaign called Bands Boycott Barclays. Both have targeted festivals in the past, with similar efforts established for The Great Escape, as well as the Isle of Wight Festival, Camp Bestival, and Latitude Festival.

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.

We’ll just have to see how this all plays out, at this point. Once the festival starts and we see how it all shakes out, we’ll have the news for you.


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