As Irish artists come together in support of Palestine, one Irish band was removed from a German festival line-up for its stance.
Art is one of the strongest mediums for protest, and artists across the country have come together in recent weeks in support of the Palestinian people and in protest at Israel’s indiscriminate bombardment of Palestine with bombs.
Perhaps the most high-profile example is the upcoming Gig for Gaza at the 3Arena.
One of the acts scheduled to play this Dublin gig recently had a festival appearance cancelled in Germany for their stance on the Palestine situation.
Lankum – a Mercury Prize-nominated band
Brothers Ian and Daragh Lynch started a band called Lynched in the early 2000s but changed the name in the mid-2010s to avoid associations with the racist practice of lynching in the US.
They adopted the name Lankum from ‘False Lankum’, a folk ballad sung by John Reilly that the band also co-opted for their latest album.
False Lankum came out in March this year (2023) on Rough Trade and earned the band its first Mercury Prize nomination, though Ezra Collective ultimately pipped the Dublin band to the award.
TransCentury Festival – Lankum’s appearance cancelled
Lankum are currently on a mostly sold-out European tour, undoubtedly boosted by the critical and commercial success of False Lankum.
The band was due to play on the Sunday night (19 November) of TransCentury Festival in Leipzig, Germany, along with Gloria De Oliveira, but the gig was cancelled by the organisers due to Lankum’s stance on Israel’s war on Palestine.
Nialler9 reports that, in a since-deleted Instagram post, TransCentury Festival said, “The Lankum & Gloria De Oliveira concerts tonight will not take place. Lankum represents a political stance that we as a venue and festival do not represent.
“In consultation with the artists, we have agreed to cancel the concert”.
Irish Artists for Palestine – a series of gigs in support of Palestine
Irish Artists for Palestine is a coalition of artists organising events across Ireland to display support for the people of Palestine during the ongoing and worsening Israeli occupation. It has announced a series of events during November, including concerts across the country.
The centrepiece gig on 28 November involves Lankum, alongside the Mary Wallopers, Damien Dempsey, Lisa O’Neill, Pauline Scanlon, Síle Denver, Niamh Dunne, and Caoimhe Butterly. Initially scheduled for Vicar Street, the event was upgraded to 3Arena due to demand.
Lankum released a statement ahead of the concert that read, “Like most people of sound mind and reason around the globe, we are heartbroken and shocked to see the indiscriminate murder of children and civilians happening for the past few weeks.
“This, on top of decades of oppression, persecution and dehumanisation is something we can only struggle to comprehend. That is why we are very proud to raise our voices in solidarity with the people of Palestine. It’s the very very least we can do”.