Three of this year’s biggest draws to Tel Aviv’s Pic.Nic music festival have withdrawn at the last minute in response to the Israeli military attack on a foreign aid flotilla that occurred last week. The attack left nine pro-Palestinian activists dead and has drawn a storm of criticism from around the world, though it is only the most recent offense to turn a growing list of high-profile artists against the idea of performing within the rogue nation’s borders.As we reported last month, Elvis Costello has recently cancelled gigs in Israel due to the “complexities of the continuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” and as AFP has recently reported, Gil Scott Heron and Carlos Santana share those sentiments.
We can now add Pixies, Klaxons, and Gorillaz to that list. Through the Israeli promoter Shuki Weiss, Pixies issued a statement that “the decision was not reached easily.” They cited “events beyond all our control” as the reason for the cancellation, although later reports clarified that it was the Israeli naval attack on the flotilla that tipped the scale. British bands Editors and Placebo and the Brooklyn band Hank & Cupcakes are among those that remain on the bill, which, frankly, doesn’t leave Israelis much to be excited about. Apparently, no one is more disappointed than Shuki Weiss, however, who later issued statements of his own, going so far as to describe the artists’ decisions as “a form of cultural terrorism which is targeting Israel and the arts worldwide,” and insists that the show must go on, “in the name of pluralism, camaraderie, and mutual respect.”
Meanwhile, Pixies has just announced 11 new U.S. dates at which they’ll continue to play nothing but Doolittle in its entirety. That’s all well and good, but come on already. Isn’t it time to start celebrating the 20th anniversary of Bossanova? Interestingly, a show at Arizona’s Mesa Amphitheater is among those scheduled, with presale tickets currently available through the band’s website. Joey Santiago, buddy, you better watch your ass down there. And when it comes time for an encore, I recommend anything other than “Vamos.”