Big Thief, an American indie rock band, has pulled out of two upcoming live shows in Israel over its “illegal occupation” and “systematic oppression of the Palestinian people,” the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
In a press release issued on Thursday, the band also apologized for the “recklessness and naivete” of a statement they had previously shared defending the booking.
The band’s decision to play two shows in Tel Aviv in July has been the subject of a heated controversy over the weekend with multiple social media users calling the band out for seemingly ignoring the BDS cultural boycott of Israel.
Big Thief Cancels Israel Shows amid Backlash as Venue Calls Them 'Spineless': 'We Are Sorry' https://t.co/RYqBFLdW1M
— People (@people) June 9, 2022
In its just-released statement, Big Thief walked back on its previous decision and confirmed it will no longer be playing in Israel next month. “Our intent in wanting to play the shows in Tel Aviv, where Max was born, raised, and currently lives, stemmed from a simple belief that music can heal,” the band said.
“We now recognize that the shows we had booked do not honor that sentiment.” They went on to add:
“We oppose the illegal occupation and the systematic oppression of the Palestinian people.”
The venue @bigthiefmusic has chosen handed out free t-shirts with the venue's logo and the words, "f**k you, we're from Israel" to Israeli occupation forces engaged in the 2014 massacres in besieged Gaza that killed more than 2,200 Palestinians, including more than 500 children. pic.twitter.com/dfxAqlHkxC
— PACBI (@PACBI) June 8, 2022
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has welcomed the band’s decision, saying: “We salute Big Thief’s courage and their willingness to listen to the oppressed.”
(WAFA, PC, Social Media)