Sam Smith's Controversial Tel Aviv Concert Cancelled Due To 'Unforeseen Problems'

6 May 2023 | 10:20 am | Mary Varvaris

Sam Smith hasn't publicly commented on the cancellation.

(Source: Supplied)

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Sam Smith will no longer perform at the two-day Summer In The City festival in Tel Aviv, Israel, as organisers cite “logistical problems”, Pink News reports. Smith was due to play on 31 May – all shows scheduled to take place that evening have been scrapped.

“Due to unforeseen technical and logistical problems, there will be no shows on the evening of May 31 (including Sam Smith’s),” the Times Of Israel revealed yesterday.

The second day of the festival, 1 June, is slated to go ahead, with Robbie Williams headlining the event.

The cancellation of Smith’s appearance arrives after intense backlash from Palestinian activists and the BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) movement. Papa Roach, the nu-metal band behind the hit Last Resort, pulled out of their performance at Summer In The City festival in March. Sam Smith hasn’t publicly commented on the matter.

Ghadir Shafie, the co-founder of the Palestinian Feminist Centre for Gender and Sexual Freedoms, issued an open statement to Smith, urging them to boycott with the message, “[Performing in Israel may sound benign, but it is what allows Israel to continue its wholesale theft of Palestinian life, land, and dignity.”

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign noted that they were “thrilled” to hear that the Unholy singer will no longer perform in “apartheid Israel”.

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A spokesperson for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign said on Twitter: “This comes after thousands around the world called on Sam to respect the Palestinian picket line and cancel the gig. #SamDontGo. 

“In London, Sam Smith fans and PSC members leafleted outside their gig, calling on Sam to refuse to artwash Israel’s rampant attacks on Palestinian life.

“All artists must heed the Palestinian call and join the growing cultural boycott of Israel, while it continues its grave violations of Palestinian rights.” 

This October and November, Sam Smith will make their grand return to Australia with their first headline tour down under since 2018.

The tour will kick off at Adelaide Entertainment Centre on 28 October, before the I’m Not Here To Make Friends singer performs at Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne on 31 October and 1 November, Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney on 3 and 4 November and Brisbane Entertainment Centre on 8 November. 

You can find tickets to Sam Smith’s Gloria tour via Frontier Touring.