Radiohead to play Israel this summer despite recent industry boycott

British rockers aren't letting politics get in the way of a concert in Tel Aviv


Photo by Heather Kaplan

Radiohead have added a new date to their global tour behind A Moon Shaped Pool, and it’s a significant one. In a tweet earlier today, the British outfit announced it would be playing Park Hayarkon in Tel Aviv, Israel, on July 19th. As Billboard points out, it marks only the fourth time Radiohead have performed in the market in their 30-plus years as a group and the first time since 2000.

For over a decade now, those in the entertainment industry have felt pressured to avoid performing in Israel in protest of the country’s occupation of Palestinian land. Within the music industry, one of the most outspoken voices against Israel has been Roger Waters. Following a visit to Israel in 2006, Waters’ commitment to the cause has grown exponentially, and he’s called on other fellow musicians to follow in his footsteps.

“My industry has been particularly recalcitrant in even raising a voice [against Israel],” the Pink Floyd rocker told The Independent last year. “There’s me and Elvis Costello, Brian Eno, Manic Street Preachers, one or two others, but there’s nobody in the United States where I live. I’ve talked to a lot of them, and they are scared s***less.”

“If they say something in public they will no longer have a career,” he added. “They will be destroyed. I’m hoping to encourage some of them to stop being frightened and to stand up and be counted, because we need them.”

Somewhat awkwardly, Waters’ new solo album is being produced by Radiohead’s Nigel Godrich.

For what it’s worth, Radiohead do have ties to Israel beyond politics. Guitarist Jonny Greenwood is married to an Israeli artist named Sharona Katan, and he recently released Junun, a collaborative album with Israeli composer/singer Shye Ben Tzur.

Radiohead 2017 Tour Dates:
03/30 – Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena
04/01 – Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena
04/03 – New Orleans, LA @ Smoothie King Center
04/05 – Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center
04/08 – Seattle, WA @ Key Arena
04/09 – Portland, OR @ Moda Center
04/11 – Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl
04/14 – Indio, CA @ Coachella Music Festival
04/17 – Berkeley, CA @ Greek Theater
04/18 – Berkeley, CA @ Greek Theater
04/21 – Indio, CA @ Coachella Music Festival
06/06 – Oslo, NO @ Spektrum
06/07 – Oslo, NO @ Spektrum
06/09 – Stockholm, SE @ Ericsson Globe
06/11 – Aarhus, DK @ NorthSide Festival
06/14 – Florence, IT @ Visarno Arena
06/16 – Milan, IT @ Parco Di Monza (I-Days 2017) *
06/18 – Hilvarenbeek, NL @ Best Kept Secret Festival
06/20 – Dublin, IE @ 3Arena
06/23 – Pilton, UK @ Glasonbury Music Festival
06/28 – Gdynia, PL @ Open’er Festival
06/30 – Werchter, BE @ Rock Werchter
07/02 – Arras, FR @ Main Square Festival
07/04 – Manchester, UK @ Manchester Arena
07/05 – Manchester, UK @ Manchester Arena
07/19 – Tel Aviv, IL @ Park Hayarkon

* = w/ James Blake