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Music News

Within Temptation quit festival in protest after homophobic campaign causes another band to be axed

Within Temptation quit festival in protest after homophobic campaign causes another band to be axed
Within Temptation were due to be playing the Byblos International Festival in Lebanon this week, but they’ve quit in protest at the treatment of another band.
 
Mashrou’ Leila had been put on the bill, but then became the object of a hate campaign because their singer is gay. Byblos said that they couldn’t guarantee people’s safety because of the threats and death and violence they were receiving, so axed Mashrou’ Leila.
 
Within Temptation then quit. Here’s their statement: “With a heavy heart we must inform you of the following: As you know, we were scheduled to play the Byblos Festival in Lebanon on August 7th. We have found out that another band called Mashrou' Leila was pulled from the festival according to the festival committee due to security reasons after religious fanatics demanded their performance to be cancelled followed by violent threats. Apart from the fact that Lebanese authorities at this moment are not able to provide artists the security to perform in peace, we have decided to cancel our show in Byblos in solidarity with Mashrou' Leila and in support of tolerance, freedom of speech and expression. For you, our fans in Lebanon, it hurts to make this decision. Our last show in Lebanon is still very vivid in our minds and hearts. We are looking forward to better days on which we will return to you in Lebanon.”
 
Byblos also issued a statement: “Dear Byblos International Festival Fans, We regret to announce that the show by Within Temptation scheduled for Wednesday August 7th has been cancelled. The band has released the following statement. We continuously call upon our supportive community to stand with us in our aim to keep freedom of expression, arts and music as well as the security of our artists and public as our paramount priorities. We will never be silenced. The BIF Team”
 
Although, of course, they silenced themselves.
 

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