Elvis Costello has just made a stark departure from the normalization-business-as-usual in the entertainment industry. In a year where artists such as the Pixies, Metallica, Joan Armatrading, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Beyonce, Elton John and Ozzy Osbourne, to name a few, have displayed little hesitation to take the stage in apartheid Israel, Elvis Costello has canceled his gig with a public statement:
“It is after considerable contemplation that I have lately arrived at the decision that I must withdraw from the two performances scheduled in Israel on the 30th of June and the 1st of July.
One lives in hope that music is more than mere noise, filling up idle time, whether intending to elate or lament…”
In an evolution of cultural boycott, 2010 began with Santana’s cancellation of his Tel Aviv concert due to “scheduling problems”. Then Gil Scott-Heron quietly canceled his planned performance following continued disruptions at a UK concert. Now, Elvis Costello has broken new ground in the cultural boycott stating it is “quite impossible to simply look the other way”. Thank you Elvis Costello.