Live Music

Barclays suspends festival backing following protests

Barclays has suspended sponsorship of all Live Nation festivals for 2024 – including Isle of Wight – over boycotts related to its links with Israel.

According to The Guardian, the move follows protests from bands and fans over the bank providing financial services to defence companies supplying Israel. Barclays denies that it funds arms companies. 

The group’s Barclaycard division signed a five-year sponsorship deal with Live Nation in 2023. The Guardian understands that the suspension does not apply to the entire contract.

Campaign group Bands Boycott Barclays pushed the festivals to disassociate themselves from Barclays. Several artists announced they would not appear at festivals such as Download and Latitude due to Barclays’ involvement.

A spokesperson for Live Nation said: “Following discussion with artists, we have agreed with Barclays that they will step back from sponsorship of our festivals.”

A spokesperson for Barclays told the Guardian: “Barclays was asked and has agreed to suspend participation in the remaining Live Nation festivals in 2024. Barclays customers who hold tickets to these festivals are not affected and their tickets remain valid. The protesters’ agenda is to have Barclays debank defence companies which is a sector we remain committed to as an essential part of keeping this country and our allies safe.”

Barclaycard has been a sponsor of Live Nation festivals since 2009.

The protest group Bands Boycott Barclays said: “This is a victory for the Palestinian-led global BDS movement. As musicians, we were horrified that our music festivals were partnered with Barclays, who are complicit in the genocide in Gaza through investment, loans and underwriting of arms companies supplying the Israeli military. Hundreds of artists have taken action this summer to make it clear that this is morally reprehensible, and we are glad we have been heard.”