Issue #284 / May 2024

I am a musician who has been booked to play The Great Escape festival, which, as you may have heard, a number of artists are boycotting due to the sponsorship of Barclays. Who, in a non-linear fashion, are profiting from the horror that is occurring in Palestine.
I do not support the genocide, I would hope the rest of the world feels the same. But as an artist already existing in a very toxic industry, the best many of us can hope for is a few scraps – the glimmer of an opportunity, a gig, anything to help us get our music out into the world, and in turn make it a better place with the love we promote in our art. The music industry is a place of being told you need to follow TikTok trends and that labels only look at ‘metrics’. Individuality doesn’t feel celebrated.
I feel as if I am to be judged by my peers and by fans if we don’t cancel our performance, yet my heart tells me that this is ill-advised. I don’t want to be bullied into following a trend, yet I worry my silence makes me look complicit.
Integrity is all we have, so how are we expected to navigate through this world when all commercialism and corporate sponsorship comes from darkness? Latitude, Isle of White, Reading & Leeds are all sponsored by Barclays – it’s a huge expectation on struggling musicians who will be replaced by one of a thousand other hungry musicians if they decide to boycott. What would you do?



Dear The Artist is Present,


Love, Nick












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