Download Boycott: Scowl, Speed, Zulu Drop Out

Due to financial ties to Barclays Bank...

Scowl, Speed, and Zulu have all dropped out of the Download Festival line-up.

The annual rock and metal extravaganza is set to kick off in just a few days, but the festival’s ongoing ties to Barclays Bank have sparked protests. The bank has financial ties to the Israeli military, alongside acting as a payment partner for a number of UK festivals. As a result, the Bands Boycott Barclays movement was formed earlier this year, intending to raise awareness of this issue.

A flurry of call-outs led to around one-third of artists at The Great Escape dropping out, due to similar ties to Barclays. Earlier this week, Leeds hardcore band Pest Control removed themselves from the Download line-up, saying that they would not “take part in an event whose sponsor profits from facilitating a genocide.”

American band Scowl previously dropped out of SXSW due to the Austin, Texas event’s ties to the US military. Now Scowl have taken themselves out of contention for Download, writing on social media:

“We will not be playing Download fest this year due to Barclays Bank sponsorship of the event and Barclays’ connection to Israel and the genocide Israel is committing in Palestine. Free Palestine!”

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A post shared by SC🌼WL (@scowl40831)


Speed then pulled out of the festival, writing: “SPEED will no longer be playing Download Festival this Friday June 14 due to the recent news of Barclays Banks sponsorship of the event and their involvement in the war in Gaza.”

Zulu became one of the latest names to disappear from the Download line-up – in a statement, they wrote: “We will not be playing Download Festival as we just got word about Barclays Bank and their sponsorship of the fest. Barclays Bank is involved with Israel and the genocide they are ACTIVELY committing against Palestine. It’s FREE PALESTINE y’all don’t get it twisted.”

Download have not commented on the statements. The moves follow similar action against Latitude, a festival sponsored by Barclaycard – CMAT, Georgia Ruth, and more have pulled out citing the bank’s involvement.

For more on the Bands Boycott Barclays movement and its aims, visit their social media accounts.

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