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Charlotte Church praised for boycotting festival in solidarity with Palestine-Rebecca Sayce-Entertainment – Metro

The singer has pulled out of her performance at the summer festival.

Charlotte Church praised for boycotting festival in solidarity with Palestine-Rebecca Sayce-Entertainment – Metro

Charlotte Church will no longer perform due to a sponsor’s ties to Israel (Picture: In Pictures via Getty Images)

Charlotte Church has been praised for refusing to perform at this year’s Hay Festival in solidarity with Palestine.

The acclaimed singer, 38, was set to perform at this year’s 11-day Hay-on-Wye event alongside the likes of Spice Girl Geri Horner and Bonnie Tyler.

But the Crazy Chick hitmaker, who has been a vocal supporter of a ceasefire amid conflict in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, has boycotted the festival to protest one of its sponsors.

She posted a lengthy statement to Instagram announcing she was pulling out of her performance while taking aim at the ‘hypocrisy’ of receiving sponsorship from a company with links to Israel and the fossil fuel industry.

‘I’m scheduled in to talk at the Hay Festival with the brilliant Mary Loudon this weekend,’ she began. ‘However, due to the continuing sponsorship of the festival by asset manager Baillie Gifford, I will be boycotting and not attending in solidarity with the people of Palestine and in protest of the artwashing and greenwashing that is apparent in this sponsorship.

‘According to the Fossil Free Books campaign, Baillie Gifford has investments worth more than £10billion in companies with links to Israeli occupation, security apparatus and genocide of Palestinians. It also has between £2.5billion and £5billion invested in fossil fuel companies.

The acclaimed singer announced she would no longer be performing at the festival (Picture: In Pictures via Getty Images)

Church cited a sponsor’s links to Israel and the fossil fuel industry as the reason for her cancellation (Picture: Mike Lewis Photography/Redferns)

She described the inclusion of his sponsor as ‘rank hypocrisy’ (Picture: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

‘In response to this criticism, they downplay this as “only 2%” of their portfolio invested in companies that profit from fossil fuels. As you can see, this is many times more than the combined net worth of everybody involved at the Hay Festival. “Only 2%” is not good enough.’

Church went on to describe the Hay Festival as one of ‘the most beloved liberal arts festivals in the UK’ but accused organisers of ‘rank hypocrisy’ due to the support of Baillie Gifford.

‘The Hay Festival is one of the most beloved liberal arts festivals in the UK. It exists because artists give it their energy,’ she continued. ‘In 2024, for Hay Festival to platform leading environmentalists and climate justice campaigners whilst accepting cash that has been generated in the fossil fuel industry, is a rank hypocrisy, and a betrayal of those contributors and of all the children whose futures will be radically different because of investors like Baillie Gifford.

‘This is not a game of checks and balances. Your art festival is not more important than the lives of Palestinian children and the future of healthy ecosystems on Earth. We are at a critical stage in the world where we must demand transparency, accountability and consequences for those profiting from destruction of life on Earth.

‘If the art world continues to take this dirty money, we all become complicit. I’m thankful to the wonderful network of humans who for decades have done and continue to do, so much deep research to root out and shine a light on these dishonest partnerships.’

She said she was in the process of reorganising the scheduled talk outside of the festival (Picture: In Pictures via Getty Images)

She went on to apologise to those who were set to see her in conversation with author Mary Loudon at the festival and encouraged readers to donate to Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) if they are able.

Church wrote: ‘To those people who were going to Hay for my talk with Mary, I’m sorry and disappointed too. I’d like to encourage everyone reading to give anything they can afford to Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP).

‘I will also be rearranging that conversation with Mary Loudon on Instagram Live – details to follow. Much love to you and yours Charlotte x.’

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Many fans praised her for her actions, saying we need ‘more people like her.’

‘Wow this world needs a zillion more like you. Walking the talk every step,’ amshepherd4 wrote.

Angharad.lloydie added: ‘What a woman – your integrity, compassion and willingness to stand up and call out the hypocrisy is commendable. You are a formidable force – wish more people with a platform was willing to be as brave. Falch I fod yn Cymraes.’

Church has been a vocal supported of Palestine and a ceasefire amid the Israel-Hamas conflict (Picture: LEON NEAL/AFP/GettyImages)

Others expressed their disappointment that they would not see Church at the festival, but supported her decision.

‘We were looking forward to seeing you however totally behind your decision with regards to Palestine,’ Janeyboro commented.

The singer slammed antisemitism claims that she was hit with earlier this year following a Sing For Palestine event.

She led the Côr Cochion choir in Caerphilly, South Wales, in a protest chant at the pro-Palestine concert, with footage online showing Church singing along to From the River to the Sea.

The song has been dubbed antisemitic as it is a popular call to arms at pro-Palestinian events, particularly the line ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.’ has contacted representatives for the Hay Festival for comment.

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