Digital rights advocacy group Fight for the Future has seen its campaign urging artists to stop working with Amazon-sponsored festivals until they cuts ties with law enforcement agencies grow to more than 800 musicians and singers.
An open letter entitled No Music For ICE helped to bring in an additional 175 indie artists to its movement last week, and demands that festivals terminate existing contracts with government agencies “that commit human rights abuses.”
It also calls on music events to stop providing cloud services to organisations that aid U.S. deportation efforts, end all projects that “encourage racial profiling or discrimination” — specifically Amazon’s facial recognition project, and reject future contracts with “known bad-actors in human rights abuses.”
Fight for the Future said: “We will not allow Amazon to exploit our creativity to promote its brand while it enables attacks on immigrants, communities of colour, workers, and local economies. We call on all artists who believe in basic rights and human dignity to join us.”
The boycott comes after the announcement of Amazon’s first music festival Intersect, which will be held in Las Vegas from December 6-7. The company is promoting the festival as an event “where music, technology, and art converge”.
Headliners include Foo Fighters, Beck, Brandi Carlile, Anderson .Paak, and H.E.R. None of these artists have signed the open letter, which was organised by Fight for Future and artists including Speedy Ortiz’s Sadie Dupuis, Downtown Boys’ Joey La Neve DeFrancesco, Evan Greer, and Adult Mom, among others.
The DJ known as the Black Madonna tweeted that she was “furious” to find that Amazon is involved in the festival, saying that the company’s name was “on NONE of the offers or paperwork” she signed.
She cancelled her appearance at the festival, saying, “This issue is not just ideological for me, it is a moral and ethical transgression against my work, my faith and most importantly the people I stand with.”
Image: Veld Music Festival