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Lankum write letter asking Latitude to drop Barclays as a sponsor amidst boycott

Lankum have said they have signed a letter asking Latitude to drop Barclays as a sponsor amid the current boycott of the bank over its ties to companies who are supplying weapons and military technology to Israel.

Numerous acts have already pulled out of the Henham Park festival over its sponsorship by Barclays, including CMAT, Pillow Queens, Mui Zyu and Georgia Ruth. Comedians Joanne McNally and Alexandra Haddow have also dropped out.

Now, Lankum have lent their voices to the conversation by revealing that they have signed a letter to Latitude over the issue, suggesting that the festival itself will be subject to acts taking a collective stand.

“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,” they wrote in a statement.

“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.

“Hopefully we will have more news on this soon.”

“Love and solidarity, Cormac, Daragh, Ian and Radie.”

The announcement of artists pulling out of Latitude comes shortly after the major boycott of The Great Escape in Brighton last month, also due to its ties with Barclays. Over 100 acts dropped out of that festival in solidarity with Palestine – constituting approximately a quarter of the full programme.

The Great Escape walkout also came after many artists refusing to play at SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas in March because of the event’s connections to the US Army and weapons companies amid the Israel-Gaza conflict. These included Gruff Rhys, Kneecap, Sprints, Lambrini Girls, Gel, Rachel Chinouriri, Cardinals and NewDad.

SXSW responded to the cancellations in a statement: “We are an organisation that welcomes diverse viewpoints. Music is the soul of SXSW, and it has long been our legacy. We fully respect the decision these artists made to exercise their right to free speech.”

Explaining its sponsorship with the US Army, SXSW wrote: “The defence industry has historically been a proving ground for many of the systems we rely on today. These institutions are often leaders in emerging technologies, and we believe it’s better to understand how their approach will impact our lives.”

Latitude isn’t the only upcoming festival that has seen boycotts due to connections to Barclays. Ithaca, Scowl, Speed and Zulu are among the bands to pull out of Download 2024 over its partnership with the bank.

The first artist to drop out of the upcoming 2024 edition, which will take place over the weekend, was Leeds hardcore band Pest Control who announced they would be pulling out as they would not “take part in an event whose sponsor profits from facilitating a genocide”.

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