Future Bubblers have dropped out of hosting a stage at The Great Escape in solidarity with Palestine.

The talent discovery and development programme took to its official X/Twitter account to reveal that they will no longer be hosting a stage at the Brighton Festival. The reasoning behind the decision to drop out of the festival is due to The Great Escape being sponsored by Barclays, which has been a source of controversy amid the current events in Gaza because of the bank’s financial investment in companies that supply arms to Israel.

“We will not be hosting a stage at The Great Escape Festival 2024. In solidarity with the BDS movement, Palestine solidarity UK and artists who have also made the difficult decision to dropout, ” began their statement.

It continued: “Divestment is a very important part of the BDS movement, as funds going towards arms sales result in the suffering of the Palestinian people.” They also added a link in their bio where people can go and sign the petition for the festival to drop Barclays as a sponsor.


They went on to add: “Barclays bank invests over £1bn in, and provides financial services worth over £3bn to, companies supplying weapons and military technology to Israel, used in its attacks against Palestinians. That statistic alone is shocking

“Future Bubblers supports Palestinians who are currently undergoing a genocide in an apartheid state, due to the Israeli government. We cannot morally host a stage and turn a blind eye at a festival whose sponsor aids such an atrocity.”


Previously, two record labels – Alcopop! and Big Scary Monsters – have confirmed they are joining the boycott of The Great Escape over its ties to Barclays bank.

The issue was first highlighted by a petition started by the promoter How to Catch a Pig and the band The Menstrual Cramps, and has since been signed by artists including KneecapLambrini GirlsAlfie TemplemanLip CriticWunderhorse and Mary in the Junkyard who have urged the festival to drop Barclays as a sponsor. Altogether, 208 of the 440 bands who had originally been booked for the line-up have signed the petition, which has 977 signees in total.

It reads: “A bank that is involved in Israel’s genocide has no place at The Great Escape, which is a fixture of the independent music scene and has a prized place in the industry. We refuse to let music be used to whitewash human rights violations. We cannot let our creative outputs become smokescreens behind which money is pumped into murdering Palestinians.” The petition can be found here.

Lambrini Girls and Cherym have pulled out of the festival in solidarity with Palestine.


Speaking about their decision not to play the festival, Lambrini Girls issued a statement saying: “We will not be appearing at The Great Escape festival this year. This is a targeted approach of a cultural boycott, considering Barclays sponsorship.

“Barclays provide financial services of over £1BN pounds to companies supplying military technology and weapons to the IDF, perpetuating the horrors unfolding in Gaza.”

NME has contacted The Great Escape for comment.

The move comes a month after swathes of artists refused to play Austin’s SXSW Festival, due to its connections with the US Army and weapons companies amid the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Gruff RhysKneecap, SprintsLambrini Girls, GelRachel ChinouririCardinals and NewDad  all eventually pulled out from SXSW, as well as every Irish act on the bill. Many of the artists expressed that they had made the decision out of solidarity with the people of Palestine.

In light of the withdrawals, SXSW released a statement regarding all of the bands and artists who have been pulling out of the festival, saying: “We are an organisation that welcomes diverse viewpoints. Music is the soul of SXSW, and it has long been our legacy. We fully respect the decision these artists made to exercise their right to free speech.”

Explaining its sponsorship with the US Army, SXSW wrote: “The defence industry has historically been a proving ground for many of the systems we rely on today. These institutions are often leaders in emerging technologies, and we believe it’s better to understand how their approach will impact our lives.”