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Shanti Celeste, DJ Seinfeld, Volvox, more pull out of Meteor Festival in Israel

DJ Python and Ross From Friends have also cancelled... 

Shanti Celeste, DJ Seinfeld, DJ Python and Volvox are amongst the names that have pulled out of Meteor Festival in Isreal over the occupation of Palestinian land.

The event, which runs from 6th to 8th September, has been targeted by the Boycott, Diversity & Sanctions movement, which focusses on Israeli cultural and economic assets and has been campaigning for artists to cancel their performances. 

A statement from the organisation suggested the festival's promoters, Naranjah, were using artists as "international ambassadors" with the aim of improving Israel's image on the global stage. Criticisms were also aimed at recommendations for attendees to stay in accommodation options located in Golan Heights, an occupied area of Palestine. 

"After a lengthy debate and consideration I have decided to cancel my appearance at Meteor Festival," said Volvox in a Facebook post. "Although I sincerely believe that the promoters of the festival had the best intentions to bring many of the world's most forward-thinking artists to Israel for a unifying and positive musical experience I think the situation is far too complex for a single person to unpack and take responsibility for." 

The festival has issued its own response on the official website, explaining that "Meteor is an independent, private project based upon a dream of individuals."

"We built this event brick by brick by ourselves asking or receiving no support, funds or benefits from any governmental or political entity," organisers said. "Therefore, affiliating us with that is nothing short of absurd – as in fact, we’re pretty much the only festival in the world who’s 100% politics free. We do not collaborate with any govt or embassy and we’re are [sic] covering everything ourselves out of pocket money and bank loans."

Ross From Friends announced that he was offered to perform at the three day session, but declined the invitation in support of the people of Palestine. Shanti Celeste and DJ Seinfeld have been removed from the bill but have not made any official statement, and DJ Python made his feelings clear on Twitter (@empanadas_b).

Several other high profile artists— including Nina Kraviz and Flying Lotus— remain on the line-up, with Honey Dijon expressing her thoughts on playing via social media. Far from the first time DJs have made their voice heard by opting out of gigs for political reasons (see Dave Clarke's anti-Trump stance last year), the move comes just one month after Facebook group Humans of the Sesh released a charity compilation in aid of Palestine