“We believe that artistic spaces should be able to exist without being funded by morally corrupt investors.” Pillow Queens and CMAT pull out of Latitude festival due to sponsor Barclays' links to weapons manufacturers supplying Israeli military

Pillow Queens, CMAT
(Image credit: Terence Patrick/CBS via Getty Images | Joseph Okpako/WireImage)

irish artists Pillow Queens and CMAT have become the first acts to withdraw from this summer's Latitude festival, due to sponsors Barclays investing in companies who supply weapons and military technology to Israel. 

In a statement on Instagram last week, Pillow Queens revealed that they were pulling out of their appearance at the July festival in protest at the festival's choice of sponsor. The Dublin quartet state:

"Latitude - a festival we were booked to play in the UK in July - lists its headline partner as Barclays. A May 2024 report by Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) details Barclays financial ties to companies producing weapons and military technology used in Israel’s attacks on Palestinians. It reveals that Barclays has increased its financial ties with companies arming Israel. PSC urges people to boycott all Barclays services until the bank ends its complicity in Israel’s attacks on Palestinians.

As a band we believe that artistic spaces should be able to exist without being funded by morally corrupt investors.

It is for that reason that we have pulled out of Latitude Festival. 

Saoirse don Phalaistín." (Freedom for Palestine).

Now fellow Irish artist CMAT has announced her intention to boycott the festival too.

"You may or may not be aware," she writes on Instagram, "but Latitude’s main sponsor is Barclays bank, who have been revealed to I have increased their financing of various companies who are supplying weapons and military technology to Israel. Specifically, it has invested over £100 Million into General Dynamics which provides gun systems to the fighter jets which are being used by Israel to bombard Gaza."

The singer/songwriter's statement goes on to say that "with all of the press surrounding the brave artists who pulled out of The Great Escape festival for the same reasons, that Latitude would divest from Barclay's, or find another sponsor." This, she says, is not going to happen.

“I will not allow my precious work, my music, which I love so much, to get into bed with violence," she continues. "Myself, and the entire CMAT touring crew who I love so much, refuse to be complicit in genocide."

"Let me be clear. There is a genocide happening in Palestine right now. All I can do as a citizen is turn up to as many demonstrations as possible and try to follow the advice of the BDS boycott list as closely as I possibly can. This falls under that action. I hope that as many of you reading this as possible will choose to show your solidarity with the Palestinian people in whatever way you can."

Festival sponsors' links with companies supplying the Israel military in their on-going war against the people of Palestine also led to Irish artists spearheading a boycott of the SXSW festival in March.  

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.