[Boycott - Cultural]
Devendra Banhart cancels Tel Aviv show
Yifa Yaakov , Jerusalem Post
15 June 2010
California-based folk artist Devendra Banhart on Monday canceled two shows he had been set to play in Tel Aviv this week mere hours before his scheduled arrival in Israel.
Banhart, who told The Jerusalem Post last week that he loved Israel and appreciated his fan base here, said he and his band decided to cancel the shows on June 16 and 17 due to pressure and political considerations.
“We love the land and people of Israel, and have been looking forward to our third show there with unimaginable anticipation. Unfortunately, we tried to make it clear that we were coming to share a human and not a political message but it seems that we are being used to support views that are not our own,” Banhart and the band said in a message posted on their Myspace page late Monday night.
“We will be overjoyed to return to Israel on the day that our presence is perceived and reported on as a cultural event and not a political one. We truly hope that day comes soon,” they added.
The producers handling Banhart’s shows said in a statement that they were not only disappointed by the cancellation, but also “surprised by the timing, especially as the artist and his agents made it clear that a cancellation was not on their agenda and that they would be coming to Israel as planned.”
The production team added that ticketholders would be reimbursed.
Popular Israeli indie musician Geva Alon, who was to open for Banhart on both nights, announced on Monday that he would be playing a free show at the Barby club on Thursday.
Devendra Banhart cancels Tel Aviv shows at last minute
Noya Kohavi, Haaretz
16 June 2010
American indie singer-songwriter Devendra Banhart canceled his two Tel Aviv concerts late Monday night, hours before he was to have landed in Israel and despite repeated assurances he had no intention to withdraw his shows. The concerts were scheduled for today and tomorrow at Tel Aviv's Barbie club.
"We love the land and people of Israel, and have been looking forward to our third show there with unimaginable anticipation," a statement posted yesterday on Banhart's website read. "Unfortunately, we tried to make it clear that we were coming to share a human and not a political message, but it seems that we are being used to support views that are not our own. We will be overjoyed to return to Israel on the day that our presence is perceived and reported on as a cultural event and not a political one. We truly hope that day comes soon."
The concert producer Shrulik Einhorn and Shahaf Schwartz said they were "deeply disappointed by the cancelation and surprised by the timing, since the artist and his manager repeatedly stated that cancelation was not an option." All ticket holders will be reimbursed.
Israeli singer Geva Alon, who was supposed to be the warmup act for Banhart, said yesterday he and other artists would hold a free concert at the Barbie club tomorrow. "When we heard of the cancelation, we decided to take action. We're culture-loving musicians, not politicians."
Banhart's only concerts in Israel took place in 2006, to great critical acclaim. His latest album, What Will Be, was released in October by Warner/Reprise, and saw him move away from his characteristic minimalism to a more approachable style. He had also recently re-recorded, with friends, Leonard Cohen's debut album, "Songs of Leonard Cohen."
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