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23rd Apr 2024

Over 400 Irish artists call for Bambie Thug to boycott Eurovision

Simon Kelly

Bambie Thug Eurovision boycott

“We urge you to do the right thing”

Over 400 artists have called for Irish Eurovision entry Bambie Thug to boycott the event in solidarity with Palestine.

Taking place in Malmö, Sweden, from Tuesday 7 May to Saturday 11 May, the Eurovision Song Contest has come under increased scrutiny due to it allowing Israel to take part in the competition.

Bambie Thug will represent Ireland with their song ‘Doomsday Blue’ after they won the Eurosong special on the Late Late Show earlier this year.

The open letter comes just three weeks before Bambie Thug is set to take the stage in Malmö.

Among the signatories are Derry Girls actor Siobhán McSweeney and singer-songwriter Erica-Cody, who competed against Bambie Thug for a place at Eurovision this year.

Over 400 Irish artists call for Bambie Thug to boycott Eurovision

The open letter, which was posted on the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign website on Monday, notes a previous statement from Bambie Thug, where they said, “my heart has and always will be with the oppressed”.

The letter argues that “by participating in Eurovision you will be standing with the oppressor”.

The letter goes on to say that Palestinians have asked performers to boycott the contest and the artists are asking the Bambie Thug to stand ‘on the right side of history.’

It continues: “You speak of the ‘unifying power of music’, but no performer that crossed the Palestinian picket line has achieved anything other than becoming a participant in Israel’s project of artwashing its crimes against the Palestinian people, and Eurovision will be no different.

The letter applauded the decision by Irish artists to boycott the SXSW Music Festival in Texas last month, which included Belfast group Kneecap, Galway rock band NewDad and singer-songwriters Gavin James and Mick Flannery.

The letter finished by saying: “You have the chance to be on the right side of history and to be remembered as an artist of conscience, who, in a time of genocide, chose to do no harm, to truly stand with the oppressed.

“History will celebrate you if you withdraw from Eurovision 2024. We urge you to do the right thing.”

Calls to boycott the Eurovision 2024 have been in motion long before Bambie Thug was announced as Ireland’s representative. However, the singer has remained committed to taking part.

In an interview on the Late Late Show on Friday, April 19, the Cork artist said: “I stand with anyone doing the boycott. I think if I wasn’t in the competition, I would also be boycotting. There are a lot of moving parts.

“At the end of the day, without the group of us who is pro-Palestine, it is less competition for the other side to win and it’s less of solidarity there,” they added.

“Obviously it’s incredibly heavy and I am extremely behind everybody.”

Bambie Thug also expressed disappointment at Eurovison organizers for allowing Israel take a global stage at the competition despite calls for a ban, similar to their decision to ban Russia after the country invaded Ukraine in 2022.

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