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Scowl, Zulu, and Speed Boycott Download Festival Over Barclay's Sponsorship, Announce Benefit Show

Harcore bands Scowl, Zulu, and Speed are the latest artists to withdraw from the UK’s Download Festival over its partnership with Barclays and the bank’s ties to Israel and the defense industry. These announcements follow Leeds crossover thrash unit Pest Control declaring on June 10 that they would pull out of the festival, stating they would not “participate in an event sponsored by a company that profits from facilitating a genocide.”

Scowl took to social media and directed fans to the "Bands Boycott Barclays" campaign for more information, thanking Pest Control for "bringing this to our attention.”

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Pest Control made a similar statement regarding the cancellation of their Download appearance, emphasizing that they "cannot sacrifice the principles held by this band and by the scene we come from and represent just for personal gain."

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Speed and Zulu shared the same reasons for their withdrawal.

Instead of taking the festival stage, the boycotting bands have organized a benefit show happening this Friday, June 14 with the proceeds going towards Palestinian aid and charities. The aforementioned bands will be joined by Cauldron, and local Birmingham acts Ikhras and Transistrr.

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The Download boycott follows a series of similar actions at Barclay's sponsored events, including numerous acts boycotting this year’s Latitude Festival and the major boycott of The Great Escape in Brighton last month, where over 100 acts, approximately a quarter of the full program, withdrew in solidarity with Palestine.

It’s also worth noting that Scowl dropped out of Welcome To Rockville and SXSW in March due to both festivals’ ties to the US Army and defense industry, stating “We refuse to participate in the war machine.”