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Ravers For Palestine spearhead solidarity with new strike fund amid festival boycotts

The initiative aims to support artists boycotting events like SXSW due to political affiliations and military ties

  • 20 March 2024
Ravers For Palestine spearhead solidarity with new strike fund amid festival boycotts

Ravers For Palestine, a horizontal collective of artists, DJs and individuals engaged in London’s electronic music scene, in order to highlight the solidarity between these individuals in support of Palestinians, as well as demand established music industry institutions take action to oppose the siege of Gaza, have set a new precedent in the music community by launching a GoFundMe strike fund aimed to support DJs and musicians impacted by their decision to boycott events over political and ethical concerns.

The fund specifically targets those who have foregone their performance fees to uphold their solidarity with Palestine, notably in response to initiatives like Strike Germany and the Austin for Palestine Coalition's campaign against SXSW.

So far, the solidarity strike fund has garnered over £6,000 from nearly 200 donators of its £10,000 target, offering a financial lifeline to artists who have taken a stand by withdrawing from events such as SXSW. This festival in Austin, Texas, drew significant attention and criticism for its ties to military contractors and the US Army, leading to a substantial artist pullout, including acts like Kneecap, who vocally condemned the festival's associations with weaponry manufacturers.

The backlash against SXSW's affiliations represents a broader discontent within the music industry, as evidenced by the withdrawal of over 115 participants earlier this month. These actions resonate with Ravers For Palestine's previous movements, such as their boycott call against London's E1 club due to its founder's alleged IDF connections.

On a related note, DJs Against Apartheid, a campaign for electronic musicians to pledge solidarity with Palestinians has received over 1,400 signatures since it launched in the late February. Signatures so far include Logic1000, Saliah, Conducta, Mama Snake, KAVARI and more, with artists from all over the world having already pledged support of the campaign. A statement on the official website asked DJs to "join hands" and "put an end to 75 years of occupation" recognising that while dance music is often celebratory "there can be no celebration or festivities during a genocide." The campaign was founded with the help of New York-based collective Palestine Forever, as a branch of Artists Against Apartheid dedicated to DJs and dance music.

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