The Great Escape – Over 100 acts take part in boycott

More than 100 acts due to play The Great Escape in Brighton this week have dropped out of the event due to the festival’s partnership with Barclays.

Alfie Templeman, Nieve Ella, Kaeto, Wunderhorse and Alessi Rose are among those who will no longer perform their planned sets in Brighton.

The festival is under criticism for its partnership with Barclays amid the ongoing war in Gaza. Barclays is known to hold investments in companies that supply arms to Israel, which has led to the boycott.

On pulling out, Templeman said: “I am no longer performing at The Great Escape festival this year due to their ongoing partnership with Barclays, who are actively funding the Israeli military and therefore being complicit in genocide. My morals cannot and will not align with the amalgamation of entertainment and human suffering.

“Solidarity to everyone else on the lineup that has dropped out and used their platform to direct attention to the boycott. I really hope that together our absence from the festival will make other festivals and events around the world prioritise being ethical when choosing their partners.”

The Great Escape, which gets underway on Wednesday night, is still taking place with an altered timetable amid the boycott. The festival was founded in 2006 and has been active for 18 years. 

In a statement, Barclays said: “First and most importantly, we recognise the profound human suffering caused by this conflict. This is an exceptionally complex and long-running conflict, and we urge governments and the international community to work together to find a lasting, peaceful solution. 

“We have been asked why we invest in nine defence companies supplying Israel, but this mistakes what we do. We trade in shares of listed companies in response to client instruction or demand and that may result in us holding shares. We are not making investments for Barclays and Barclays is not a “shareholder” or “investor” in that sense in relation to these companies.”

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