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Two record labels have joined The Great Escape boycott over Barclaycard links in solidarity with Gaza

Both labels have criticised Barclaycard for holding investments in companies that supply arms to Israel.

By Nick Reilly

The Great Escape festival takes place in Brighton every May (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

The record labels Alcopop! and Big Scary Monsters have announced they are joining the boycott of The Great Escape over its ties to Barclays.

The Brighton-based festival has faced criticism for partnering with the bank amid the ongoing war in Gaza, after it was revealed that the firm holds investments in companies that supply arms to Israel.

This issue was first highlighted in a petition that was signed by a number of acts set to play the event including Alfie Templeman, Wunderhorse, Lip Critic and Kneecap. At the time of writing, some 200 acts who were set to play the festival have signed the petition.

It reads: “A bank that is involved in Israel’s genocide has no place at The Great Escape, which is a fixture of the independent music scene and has a prized place in the industry. We refuse to let music be used to whitewash human rights violations. We cannot let our creative outputs become smokescreens behind which money is pumped into murdering Palestinians.” 

In a new statement, Alcopop! and Big Scary Monsters have confirmed they will no longer platform their acts at The Great Escape. “To be associating with Barclays doesn’t sit right with our ethical standpoint, and if we can do anything to help raise awareness, and ultimately highlight the corporate greed at the heart of this horrendous genocide in Gaza, we will,” Alcopop! said in a statement.

Big Scary Monsters have also supported the decision, with the likes of The Menstrual Cramps, Orchards and Other Half all pulling out.

The Great Escape and Barclays are yet to respond, but Rolling Stone UK has contacted both for comment.

It comes after SXSW faced a similar boycott earlier this year, due to the Texas festival’s partnership with the US Army.