Elton John

Elton John

Elton John is to headline a special festival to take place near the location of Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland, ahead of his planned performance in Tel Aviv.

The eccentric English performer will play the next Life Festival Oswiecim in June, organisers announced last week, while a month before, he is due to perform in Israel’s cosmopolitan hub in his fourth visit to the country.

Life Festival Oswiecim was started five years ago by a Polish journalist from Oswiecim, who wanted to “break the spell” of the town being associated only with the Nazi death camp. Organisers say it stands for building peaceful relations between nations, and is a protest against anti-Semitism and other forms of racism.

“Like everyone, I am shocked by the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and elsewhere,” said John in a statement. In June, we’ll be celebrating life, peace and music.”

Other stars who have performed at the festival include James Blunt, Matisyahu, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Soundgarden, Eric Clapton and Chris De Burgh.