SPANISH music festival Rototom Sunsplash has apologised for banning a Jewish musician from its lineup.
The Valencia-based festival has reversed its decision to cancel American reggae singer Matisyahu’s August 22 performance, though it is not yet clear if Matisyahu will accept the re-invitation.
The singer was banned after he refused festival organisers’ ‘appalling and offensive’ demands to publicly endorse the Palestinian state.
The festival now claims it made a mistake in caving under pressure from pro-Palestine political groups, which have accused Matisyahu of ‘defending a state that practices apartheid and ethnic cleansing.’
“I support peace and compassion for all people,” said Matisyahu in a statement following his ban.
“My music speaks for itself, and I do not insert politics into my music.”
The Spanish foreign ministry and the American embassy in Madrid both condemned the festival’s ban, calling it a ‘troubling violation of conscience’.
Matisyahu, who is not Israeli, was the only musician asked to make a political statement.