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Lankum, BEAK and more sign open letter to Latitude asking festival to drop Barclays sponsorship

The Bands Against Barclays boycott has seen acts dropping out of a host of festivals due to the bank's alleged ties to arms companies in Israel.

By Will Richards

Primavera Sound
Lankum (Picture: Sergio Albert)

Lankum and BEAK are among acts to have signed an open letter to Latitude Festival asking the festival to drop their sponsorship with Barclays.

The festival is the latest major UK event to face a slew of acts pulling out due to its sponsorship with Barclays and the bank’s financial ties with Israel. It comes after Brighton’s The Great Escape saw over 100 acts pull out in solidarity with the people of Palestine.

Last week saw CMAT, Pillow Queens and more pull out of Latitude, with the former saying: “I will not allow my precious work, my music, which I love so much, to get into bed with violence.”

Now, Lankum – set to play Latitude next month – have shared a statement in which they say they have signed an open letter along with a number of other acts set to play the festival, asking for Barclays to be removed as a sponsor.

“In relation to the Barclays sponsorship of Latitude Festival, we have signed a letter asking the festival to drop the bank due to their links with weapons firms involved in the genocide in Palestine,” the Dublin band wrote.

“We have also been working behind the scenes with a number of the acts scheduled to play at the festival, as we firmly believe that collective action is the most effective action.”

Two bands to confirm they have also signed the letter are Bristol band BEAK and Irish folk outfit The Mary Wallopers, with the former writing: “Hopefully it will resolve in a positive outcome where we don’t have to pull out. But if Latitude refuse to do so then we will be forced to pull out.”

It comes after a host of bands including Pest Control, Ithaca and Scowl pulled out of this weekend’s Download Festival, which is also sponsored by Barclays.

Leeds’ Pest Control, the first band to pull out, wrote: “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.”

Ithaca wrote: “Whilst we hate letting anyone down, this moment of solidarity sends a powerful message to the organisers about where the younger generation of bands stand. FREE PALESTINE.”

In a statement, Barclays previously told Rolling Stone UK: “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.”