ISRAEL — English pop singer, Sam Smith, has canceled their appearance to perform at The Summer in the City Festival in Tel Aviv, Israel set to occur on Wednesday, May 31. Smith and the festival organizers made the announcement on Friday, May 5, citing “unexpected technical and logistical problems.” This announcement follows a months-long online campaign by boycotters, urging the singer to cancel their show in the “apartheid” State.
“11000+ are calling on @samsmith to cancel their gig in apartheid Israel and stand in solidarity with Palestinian queers and all Palestinians fighting for their human rights and dignity. #SamDontGo,” The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) tweeted on May 4.
It has not been confirmed that Smith canceled the show to stand in solidarity with Palestinians. However, they are still receiving major backlash from Israeli groups and supporters for the decision:
“Sam Smith, it’s a shame you give in to the lies of an anti-Israeli campaign,” Yoseph Haddad, an Israeli public figure, tweeted. “I really hope that no one in Israel will listen to your music again. Those who boycott us should be boycotted back,” Haddad continued.
Alternatively, PACBI has praised Smith for the decision on Twitter:
“Palestinians warmly welcome the news that Sam Smith will not be performing in apartheid Israel, and avoiding artwashing or pinkwashing Israel’s oppression against Palestinians,” PACBI said.
The 30-year-old, four- time Grammy award winner – who recently released their UK chart-topping 2023 album GLORIA – is currently on The Gloria Tour which began in Sheffield, England on April 12. The Summer in the City Festival show was one of the many stops for the singer on the world tour.
Smith previously canceled two dates on the tour for UK shows, in Glasgow and Birmingham, citing a “virus” that has made them and their team “really unwell.” Both shows have been rescheduled for later dates on the tour.
Papa Roach, the opening act for Sam Smith at The Summer in the City Festival, canceled their performance back in March, forcing the festival to cancel the second day of the two-day festival. Festival organizers announced that festival goers may receive a 25% to full refund on their tickets.