Pest Control lead boycott of Download festival due to Barclays' investments in companies arming Israel

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Scowl, Zulu, Speed and Pest Control have withdrawn from this week’s Download festival due to sponsor Barclays’ links to defence contractors and weapons manufacturers who arm the Israeli military.

This follows similar boycotts of SXSW, The Great Escape and Latitude music festivals. When announcing plans to boycott Latitude, Irish singer/songwriter CMAT stated that Barclays “invested over £100 Million into General Dynamics which provides gun systems to the fighter jets which are being used by Israel to bombard Gaza.”

Earlier today, June 10, Leeds crossover thrash band Pest Control became the first act to withdraw from Download, due to the involvement of Barclays: Barclaycard is listed on the Partners section of the festival website as the ‘Official Payment Partner of Liquid Death presents Download Festival’.

Posting on their social media accounts, the band state: “We have made the decision to pull out of our upcoming shows at Download festival this week (Wednesday 12 June + Sunday 16th June).

“This is due to us taking part in the boycott against Barclays bank, who are Download festival’s payment partner and sponsor. Barclays bank oversees billions of dollars in investments and loans to companies whose weapons and technology are used in Israel’s onslaught against the Palestinian people. We will not take part in an event whose sponsor profits from facilitating a genocide.

“We’re sorry to anyone who was looking forward to seeing us perform. This is something we’ve been looking forward to for the best part of a year and was a big milestone for us as a band. However, we cannot sacrifice the principles held by this band and by the scene we come from and represent, just for personal gain.”

The band asked fans to look at the Bands Boycott Barclays Instagram page for more information on the boycott.

Scowl, who have previously withdrawn from the SXSW and Welcome To Rockville festivals in solidarity with the people of Palestine, thanked Pest Control on social media for bringing Barclays’ involvement in Download to their attention, while also announcing their intention to withdraw from the weekender.

“We will not be playing Download fest this year due to Barclays Bank sponsorship of the event and Barclays’ connection to Israel and the genocide Israel is committing in Palestine,” they write. “Free Palestine!”

Zulu and Speed have also announced their intention to boycott the festival, with Zulu promising an “alternate show announcement soon for that Friday.”

Download festival is sold out. The event promoters have yet to comment upon the boycott.