Over 400 Irish artists call on Bambie Thug to boycott Eurovision in solidarity with Palestine

Among the signatures are queer musicians, artists and drag performers including Elaine Mai, Viola Gayvis and Veda Lady.

An image of Bambie Thug, who is being urged to boycott Eurovision. They pose on stage, with a small Irish flag held between their teeth as they smile. Two dancers covered in a head to two black body suit stand behind the singer on either side.
Image: @bambiethug via Instagram

Over 400 Irish artists have issued an open letter calling on Eurovision entrant Bambie Thug to boycott the song contest in solidarity with Palestine. The creatives, spanning industries including music, theatre, drama, literature, visual arts and more, highlighted how Israel is using the event to aid its propaganda efforts and distract from its devastating attacks on Gaza.  

The open letter addresses the non-binary singer, saying: “We are writing to you as Irish artists, writers and poets, many of us queer and trans. Firstly, we congratulate you on being selected to represent Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2024. This is an honour and recognition of your talent and artistry.

It continues: “However, we are asking you to withdraw from Eurovision 2024, to heed the call from Palestinians to boycott the competition due to the participation of Israel. We welcome that you have chosen, along with other participating artists, not to be silent. However, while you say ‘My heart and solidarity has and will always lie with the oppressed’ – by participating in Eurovision you will be standing with the oppressor.”

The text goes on to outline the “extreme colonial violence” and “genocide” that Palestinians are currently facing.

“At least 32,663 people, including more than 13,000 children, have been murdered. Thousands more are missing under the rubble. The health system has been destroyed and the majority of people there forcibly displaced and now experiencing forced starvation, while Israel blocks thousands of aid trucks from entry. Hundreds of Palestinians in the West Bank have been killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers and entire communities are being ethnically cleansed, with thousands of people detained without charge and subjected to torture and abuse in Israeli dungeons,” the letter states.

“To participate in any enterprise that provides cover for and normalises such gross human rights violations is simply unconscionable.”

The letter goes on to outline how the Irish population has shown its support for Palestine over the past six months. One example of this is the over 16,500 members of the Irish public who have petitioned RTÉ’s Director General, Kevin Bakhurst, to withdraw Ireland’s participation from Eurovision in protest to the European Broadcasting Union’s failure to expel Israel.

“The majority of people in Ireland support the boycott of Israel and want the government to sanction that state,” the text states.

“You have the chance to be on the right side of history and to be remembered as an artist of conscience, who, in a time of genocide, chose to do no harm, to truly stand with the oppressed. History will celebrate you if you withdraw from Eurovision 2024.

“We urge you to do the right thing,” it concludes.

At present, there are a total of 407 signatures, including Derry Girls actor Siobhán McSweeney, musicians Erica-Cody and Elaine Mai, visual artist Pradeep Mahadeshwar, drag performers Viola Gayvis, Lavender and Veda Lady, and many others.



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The open letter comes after Bambie Thug appeared on The Late Late Show on Friday, April 19, and discussed their stance on the Eurovision boycott.

“I think if I wasn’t in the competition, I would also be boycotting,” the signer said, adding, however, that if they withdrew it would be “less competition” for Israel.

“But at the end of the day, it’s the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) who have to make the decision and unfortunately, in my eyes, they aren’t making the right decision. So yeah, it’s bitter sweet the whole thing,” they expressed.

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