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Barclays suspends sponsorship of several UK festivals amid boycott calls

The decision follows a number of high-profile artists and bands withdrawing their appearances at Download and Latitude festivals

  • 16 June 2024
Barclays suspends sponsorship of several UK festivals amid boycott calls

Barclays has suspended its partnership with several UK music festivals following calls to boycott events associated with the bank over its alleged ties to weapon manufacturers said to be supplying arms for Israel's continued ground offensive in Gaza.

This week, a number of high-profile bands and artists set to perform at two major UK festivals - Download and Latitude - have withdrawn their participation in accordance with the "Boycott Barclays" movement, first launched by the UK-based Palestinian Solidarity Campaign.

Read this next: Over 120 artists pull out of The Great Escape over Barclays sponsorship

Back in May, over 120 artists - or 25% of the line-up - pulled out of Brighton's The Great Escape festival as part of the boycott,

According to The Guardian, Barclays has now taken the decision to suspend its sponsorship of Download, Latitude and The Isle of Wight festivals — all part of its five-year deal with Live Nation.

A spokesperson for Live Nation told The Guardian that “following discussion with artists, we have agreed with Barclays that they will step back from sponsorship of our festivals.”

While Live Nation's statement alludes to the financial organisation "stepping back" from sponsorship of its fesitvals, The Guardian clarifies that it is understood that this decision does not affect the entire contract.

Among UK-based festivals that Live Nation currently operate include Reading and Leeds festivals, Camp Bestival, Wireless and more.

Read this next: Numerous music labels, promoters and collectives commit to cultural boycott of Israel

Commenting on the decision, a spokesperson for Barclays told The Guardian: “Barclays was asked and has agreed to suspend participation in the remaining Live Nation festivals in 2024. Barclays customers who hold tickets to these festivals are not affected and their tickets remain valid."

"The protesters’ agenda is to have Barclays debank defence companies which is a sector we remain committed to as an essential part of keeping this country and our allies safe," the statement continues.

Mixmag has contacted representatives for Live Nation and Barclays for further comment.

Megan Townsend is Mixmag's Deputy Editor, follow her on Twitter

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