Radiohead have been hit with backlash after announcing an upcoming concert in Israel. The Creep hitmakers will headline Park Hayarkon in Tel Aviv on 19 July, defying music industry boycotts against the country over the Palestine conflict.
Led by frontman Thom Yorke, Radiohead, also consisting of Jonny Greenwood, Ed O'Brien, Phil Selway and Colin Greenwood, announced their forthcoming gig via Twitter on 8 February and posted a link to buy tickets which are already on-sale.
However, the news was met with a negative response with one angry fan tweeting: "Disappointed that @radiohead will cross int'l picket line to play for a segregated audience in the apartheid state," while another challenged: "If human rights mean anything to you, please cancel your tour to Israel."
One particularly disgruntled fan chimed in: "Disgusted that radiohead would play in apartheid state. Would not cross the road to see them now," while another commented: "Sickened to hear this news @radiohead You know the reasons for the #BDS cultural boycott?" Sharing a similar sentiment, another critic stated: "If you consider performing in #Israel you're either a supporter of #apartheid or else naive & in that case you should steer clear."
Radiohead's controversial Tel Aviv gig will come a month after their headline performance at Glastonbury festival on 23 June. Some speculate that the band are unlikely to cancel the Israel show as band member Greenwood is married to Israeli artist Sharona Katan. The guitarist is also said to have collaborated with Israeli composer Shye Ben Tzur on the 2015 album Junun.
Over the years, several musicians, including Lauryn Hill and Pharrell Williams, have buckled under criticism and cancelled their previously scheduled concerts in Israel. Pink Floyd rocker Roger Waters is perhaps the music industry's most outspoken campaigner in regards to the political conflict and believes musicians are afraid to speak out in fear of damaging their careers.
In a rare interview with The Independent in February 2016, Waters said: "My industry has been particularly recalcitrant in even raising a voice [against Israel]. There's me and Elvis Costello, Brian Eno, Manic Street Preachers, one or two others, but there's nobody in the United States where I live. I've talked to a lot of them, and they are scared s******s... I'm hoping to encourage some of them to stop being frightened and to stand up and be counted, because we need them."
Radiohead's forthcoming tour will support their chart-topping 2016 album A Moon Shaped Pool.