Reggae Songstress Etana defends performance in Spain


Over the last few days, reggae artiste Etana has had to use social media to defend her decision to perform at Spain's Rototom Sunsplash Music Festival on Saturday after Twitter users attacked the entertainer for accepting the organisers' invitation to perform just days after a fellow artiste was booted from the show's line-up.


Etana had been invited by the Rototom organisers to replace Matisyahu after he was removed from the line-up for refusing to state his position on Palestinian statehood.

Some users on Twitter lashed out at Etana because they felt that as an artiste, she should have showed support for her fellow entertainer by rejecting the offer to perform. They accused the singer of being a party to discrimination because she accepted the offer to replace Matisyahu on Saturday's show.

Religious war

However, in an interview earlier this week, Etana stated that she was not asked to make any statements about the Palestinian state issue and accepted the offer to perform because her music is about peace and unity.

"I will not involve myself in any political or religious war. Reggae music is for everyone. Reggae is universal! Let peace reign! One love!" she said on Twitter.

"One world we live in. I won't agree or ever involve myself in any religious war. Reggae music is universal," she added in another tweet.

She also urged persons on Twitter to express their issues to the organisers of the festival and not to her because she is not prejudiced.

Despite her efforts to justify her reason for performing, Twitter world seemed to be having none of it as they continued to call her out for not supporting Matisyahu and refusing to perform.

"If you say "One love one heart" and still going to perform, you exclude the Jew from this circle of amity. For shame!," said one user.

"Too late. Your bell has tolled. To perform at this festival is to cooperate with racism," another said.

After giving Etana a hard time for accepting the offer to replace Matisyahu, fans of the Jewish reggae artiste will be happy to know that the Rototom organisers have issued a public apology to the entertainer for removing him from the show and also re-invited him to perform as was originally planned.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Rototom organisers said that their decision to boot Matisyahu was as a result of pressure from a local branch of the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS), which campaigned against Matisyahu's participation. The re-invite comes after Spain's Government responded to outrage from the World Jewish Congress, which wrote to the Spanish prime minister urging him to condemn the cancellation. The Government then issued a statement stating that the Spanish Constitution forbids discrimination on the grounds of "birth, race, sex, religion, opinion, or any other personal or social condition or circumstance".

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