Lana Del Rey defended her decision to perform at the upcoming Meteor Festival via Twitter on Sunday evening. Her decision to play at the festival, held in the upper Galilee region of Israel in early September, has been criticized due to the nation’s policies regarding Palestinians.
Groups such as the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) have called for Del Rey to “reconsider” the performance, comparing it to “playing a show in South Africa during Apartheid.” This group is part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement calling for the cultural boycott of Israel in retaliation against the nation’s policies against Palestinians—and PACBI isn’t the only group from which Del Rey is receiving backlash.
In defending the performance, Del Rey argued for the unifying power of music and for her duties as a touring artist—that being, actually performing despite political tensions.
“I believe music is universal and should be used to bring us together … Performing in Tel Aviv is not a political statement or a commitment to the politics there just like singing here in California doesn’t mean my views are in alignment [with] my current governments opinions or sometimes inhuman actions,” said Del Rey in her tweeted defense. The artist noted that she plans to perform “with a loving energy with a thematic emphasis on peace.”
Del Rey isn’t the first to come under fire for performing in Israel. In December 2017, Lorde canceled a show planned in the region due to an open letter from fans in which it was argued that the performance would equate to support for Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, both of which are lands that Palestine claims. Radiohead also encountered similar backlash in July 2017, though the show went on after Thom Yorke tweeted out that playing in the area didn’t equate to “endorsing its government.” The Tel Aviv-based concert promotion company that is responsible for bringing Radiohead to Israel, Naranjah, is also the group responsible for organizing Meteor Festival, as Variety points out.
As far as the festival’s lineup, Del Rey isn’t the only American performer making the hike to Israel for the show—ASAP Ferg, Kamasi Washington and Of Montreal are just a few of the other artists also slotted to perform. This is in addition to the many local artists gracing the 50-plus-act lineup, such as Geva Alon, Balkan Beat Box and Bemet.
See Del Rey’s tweets below.