A Powerful Coalition of Music Industry Executives Back Lana Del Rey’s Decision to Play Israel

Lana Del Rey (Photo courtesy of Jaguar MENA (CC 2.0))
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Lana Del Rey (Photo courtesy of Jaguar MENA (CC 2.0))
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Photo courtesy of Jaguar MENA (CC 2.0)

Lana Del Rey is moving ahead with plans to play Israel in September — and some powerful music industry executives got her back.

Last week, Digital Music News broke the news that Lana Del Rey had agreed to play the Meteor Festival, situated in the Galilee region of northern Israel.  The festival will represent the first time Del Rey has played in the country, a move that ruffled the feathers of numerous anti-Israeli activists.

That included Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, who urged Del Rey to back out of the gig.  In a Facebook post, Waters criticized Del Rey for engaging in “a political act in support of the apartheid state” and “choosing the side of the oppressor”.  Elsewhere, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign convinced South Africa’s Black Motion to pull out of the event, though headliners like ASAP Ferg, Of Montreal, and Kamasi Washington seem unmoved.

The same is true for Lana Del Rey, who maintained that the show was apolitical.  “What I can tell you is I believe music is universal and should be used to bring us together,” Del Rey stated.  “We don’t always agree with the politics of the places we play within or even in our own country.”

But after the exchange with Waters, Lana Del Rey agreed to modify her itinerary to the Middle East by separately playing in Palestine.  Of course, that move engendered its own backlash, with Del Rey appearing calm during the growing storm.

Now, more than 50 prominent music and entertainment industry executives are backing Lana Del Rey.

In an open letter shared with Digital Music News today (August 23rd), the coalition publicly supported the booking and countered Waters’ protests.  The group, called ‘Creative Community for Peace,’ issued the letter with signatures from notable executives like Donald Passman (attorney at Gang, Tyre, Ramer, & Brown), Daniel Glass (president & founder of Glassnote Entertainment Group), Gery Gersh (president of Global Talent at AEG Presents), and David Levy (partner & co-head atWilliam Morris Endeavor Entertainment).

Here’s the full letter…

_________________________________________________________________

Los Angeles, CA (August 23, 2018) – We at Creative Community For Peace (CCFP) applaud Lana Del Rey and the other artists scheduled to perform at the upcoming Meteor Festival in northern Israel, and commend Lana for her principled stand in the face of calls to cancel her performance.

As she wrote in response to those pressuring her to cancel her show in solidarity with the attempted cultural boycott of Israel, “Music is universal and should be used to bring us together.” We could not agree more.

As professionals in the entertainment industry, we know that music and the arts in general can transcend differences in race, religion, or politics and connect us on a deeper human level. Art can reflect and explore those forces that divide us, but it should never become subservient to them. And frankly, the more than 30,000 people who have signed our anti-boycott petition agree.

Unfortunately, the boycott Israel movement is working tirelessly to subjugate art to politics, portraying every concert in Israel as a political act and thereby holding musicians hostage to their narrow agenda — while the founders of the boycott movement have also stated their belief in the Palestinian right of self-determination while denying Israel’s right to the same.

Those of us who care about peace must not allow the boycott movement to succeed in using art as a weapon to keep people apart instead of using it as a tool to bring them together. We believe in building bridges, not boycotts.
We also agree with Lana Del Rey’s point that performing in a particular country doesn’t indicate support for the government of that country. Further, the criticism many boycott activists level against Israel is inflammatory and filled with misinformation. The charges of ‘apartheid’ and ‘genocide,’ which boycott activists make on social media, are completely devoid of fact.

We are confident that Lana Del Rey and the other artists scheduled to appear at the Meteor Festival, including Pusha T, Flying Lotus, A$AP Ferg, and many others, will have a fantastic time connecting with the diverse audiences at their shows.

They, like the hundreds of artists who have performed in Israel in recent years, such as the Rolling Stones, Jon Bon Jovi, Radiohead, Ziggy Marley, Nick Cave, Carlos Vives, and so many others will see people from all walks of life (and religions) sing and dance together in peace.

Sincerely,

Jason Adelman
Head of Brand Strategy and Business Development, Habana Avenue

Orly Adelson
President ,Orly Adelson Productions

Marty Adelstein
CEO, Tomorrow Studios

Michael Adler
Partner, Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler & Feldman

Craig Balsam
Co-founder, Razor & Tie Entertainment

Richard Baskind
Partner & Head of Music, Simons Muirhead & Burton

Aton Ben-Horin
Global head of A&R a Warner Music Group

Steven Bensusan
President, Blue Note Entertainment Group

Adam Berkowitz
Senior Television Agent, Creative Artists Agency

Joshua P. Binder
Partner, Davis Shapiro & Lewit etal.

David Byrnes
Partner, Ziffren Brittenham, LLP

Civia Caroline
President of Clic Entertainment

Jim Cooperman
Senior VP Legal & Business Affairs, The Madison Square Garden Company

Josh Deutsch
Chairman/CEO, Downtown Records

David Draiman
Musician

Craig Emanuel
Partner, Entertainment and Media, Paul Hastings LLP

Ron Fair
Record Producer & CEO, Faircraft Inc.

Erica Forster
Entertainment Industry Executive

Gary Foster
Principal, Krasnoff Foster Productions

Daryl Friedman
Chief Advocacy & Industry Relations Officer, The Recording Academy/GRAMMYs on the Hill

Andrew Genger
Red Light Management

Daniel Glass
President & Founder, Glassnote Entertainment Group

Gery Gersh
President, Global Talent, A.E.G. Presents

Gary Ginsberg
Executive VP of Corporate Marketing & Communications, Time Warner Inc.

David Glick
Founder & CEO, Edge Group

Andrew Gould
Music Executive

Trudy Green
Trudy Green Management/HK Management

Ari Ingel
Denovo Music

David Levy
Partner & Co-Head, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment

Neil Jacobson
President, Geffen Records

Larry Katz
Entertainment Attorney

Zach Katz
President Repertoire & Marketing, U.S., BMG

Amanda Kogan
WME

Rick Krim
Co-President, Sony/ATV Music Publishing

Colin Lester
CEO, JEM Artists

David Lonner
CEO, Oasis Media Group

Ben Maddahi
President of Unrestricted

Scott Packman
Esq.

Donald S. Passman
Partner, Gang, Tyre, Ramer, & Brown, Inc.

Dean Raise
Manager at C3 Presents

David Renzer
Chairman/CEO, Spirit Music Group

Hanna Rochelle
Founder & President, Lyric Culture

Rick Rosen
Co-Founder & Head of Television, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment

Paul Schindler
Senior Chair of the New York Entertainment & Media Practice, Greenberg Traurig LLC

Steve Schnur
Worldwide Executive & Music President, Electronic Arts

Sam Schwartz
Partner, Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency

Ben Silverman
Chairman & Co-CEO, Propagate Content

Ralph Simon
Chairman & CEO, Mobilium Global Limited

Jeff Sosnow
SVP Artist and Repertoire at Warner Music Group

Gary Stiffelman
Partner, Greenberg Traurig LLP

Aaron Symonds
Film Composer

Traci Szymanski
President of Co-Star Entertainment/Israelife Media Group

Adam Taylor
President, APM Music

Sharon Tal Yguado
Head of Event Series at Amazon

*Please note that all companies are listed for affiliation only.

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