Wish You Were Here: Pink Floyd tribute group to tour Israel after U-turn

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Wish You Were Here: Pink Floyd tribute group to tour Israel after U-turn

The UK Pink Floyd Experience faced death threats after Roger Waters attacked the band for agreeing to perform in Israel

Joe Millis is a journalist

UK Pink Floyd Experience has decided that it will tour Israel after all
UK Pink Floyd Experience has decided that it will tour Israel after all

A Pink Floyd tribute band has reversed its decision to boycott Israel and will perform there next month.

The UK Pink Floyd Experience had originally called off its three shows in Beersheba (4 January), Tel Aviv (5 January) and Haifa (6 January) after former Floyd frontman Roger Waters wrote on Facebook that singing his songs in Israel would be “an act of unconscionable malice and disrespect”.

Waters is well-known for his support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

However, the tribute band said: “In January 2017 the show was invited to perform in Israel… The shows got a wonderful reception from friendly and enthusiastic audiences.

“Earlier this year the show was invited back for a similar short tour, which we accepted. Our decision to accept the invitations to play in Israel were completely non-political and neither endorses nor criticises anyone’s politica

Former Pink Flloyd frontman Roger Waters, a leading BDS campaigner

l views in this situation.”

They added that they were “obliged to fulfil our contractual obligation to perform in Israel in January 2019. However, we have changed our set and will perform a one-off special concert together with Israeli Pink Floyd Tribute Band ‘Echoes’”.

Pink Floyd Experience said it deeply regretted “the upset caused by all of this, it was far from our intention to stir up all this anger and hatred, when the opposite was what was intended. In hindsight, it was very naive to think our motives would not be misunderstood and misrepresented.”

Israeli musician and concert organiser Ziv Rubinstein said: “It was a terrible situation, their lives were threatened, they were very scared, they deleted their Facebook page. But we know the people who are in the band, and we know they are people who love Israel, who have appeared here in the past – we talked to them and spoke to their heart.”

Rubinstein told the Jerusalem Post Tuesday that “we tried to explain to them that at the end of the day, we’re talking about art, and we’re talking about music, and they have a big fan base here”, adding the band took “a brave step”, knowing that “they will face attacks again”.

Profits from the concerts will go to education charity UNICEF.

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