Singer-songwriter Sam Smith has canceled his performance in Israel at the end of May as part of the ‘Summer in the City Festival’ to be held at Tel Aviv’s Park Hayarkon.
According to the production company, the cancellation was due to “unforeseen technical and logistical problems on May 31.”
The announcement also stated that the June 1 festival date will take place as planned with performances by Static, Calum Scott, Martin Garrix, and Robbie Williams. Prior to the announcement of the cancellation, Smith had been under heavy pressure from activists of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.
Smith, a musician who defines himself as non-binary and asks to be referred to in the third person singular, received calls on social networks to cancel his concert in Israel under the hashtag #SamDontGo.
The tweets showed photos of Israeli soldiers accompanying arrested Palestinian youth and pointing a gun at a Palestinian mother and her children. Hundreds of fans implored Smith not to perform in Tel Aviv as part of the world tour to promote the new album “Gloria” in order to express “solidarity with the Palestinians.”
Along with the posts on social networks, a petition was sent to Smith that was signed by over 11,000 people, saying: “We were disappointed to hear that you plan to perform in Tel Aviv as part of the festival and we ask you to reconsider. When you perform in Israel, you risk condoning the daily violence and oppression against the Palestinian people.”
About a month ago, the production of the festival announced that the metal band Papa Roach would not participate in the festival “due to circumstances unrelated to the production.”