The tribute band the UK Pink Floyd Experience will perform in Israel next month, irking Roger Waters and reversing a cancellation that was spurred by pressure from the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.
The three concerts will take place according to the original schedule – Be’er Sheva on January 4, Tel Aviv on January 5 and Haifa on January 6. And now Echoes, an Israeli Pink Floyd tribute band, will make a guest appearance.
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The British group canceled its appearances shortly after Waters, the Pink Floyd co-founder and famous BDS activist, pleaded with the Experience not to come to Israel.
“I am aghast to see you have plans to perform in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Be’er Sheba on 4th 5th 6th January. Please don’t do it,” Waters wrote on Facebook. “To sing my songs in front of segregated audiences in Israel, and contribute to the cultural whitewashing of the racist and apartheid government of that country, would be an act of unconscionable malice and disrespect.”
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But the band said it had canceled not out of ideological identification with BDS but out of fear for its safety after a flood of pressure by BDS activists. The band even took down its Facebook page as a result.
After Waters bragged about the cancellation, David Power of the UK Pink Floyd Experience wrote on Facebook that “as I pointed out in my note to you, my concern was for my colleagues and the abuse and threats they were receiving as a result of your initial post. This remains the main reason for issuing the cancelation post. We do not support either side in this, we were simply hoping to bring music to the people.”
Amid the efforts of the Israeli production company Egoist Productions, the band put Israel back on its schedule. Egoist described the decision as an “Israeli victory” and said the arrival of the UK Pink Floyd Experience reflected “serious efforts and the understanding that art comes before politics.”
The company also called it “a great victory for an Israeli production company that did not surrender to the boycott and the terror being exercised by artists against us all over the world.”