From Iceland — Icelandic Artists Participating In Nordic Eurovision Boycott Initiative

Icelandic Artists Participating In Nordic Eurovision Boycott Initiative

Published April 11, 2024

Photo by
EurovisiOFF/Supplied Photo

A social media campaign protesting the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest was launched by a grassroots group of Nordic artists Thursday evening. Called EurovisiOFF, the campaign calls for a full boycott of the annual song contest, including the semi-final broadcasts on May 7 and 9 and the grand finale on May 11, on account of the European Broadcasting Union permitting Israel to participate amid its war on Gaza and indiscriminate slaughter of the Palestinian people.

This year’s event is being hosted in Malmö, Sweden, following singer Loreen’s win in Liverpool in 2023.

In an announcement about the campaign sent to Icelandic artists who signed a petition in January urging national broadcaster RÚV to withdraw from this year’s contest, EurovisiOFF organisers asked those participating in a boycott to post the same image or video on their social channels at 18:00 on April 11. The campaign will be ongoing until May 11 following the Eurovision broadcast. The initiative also launched an Instagram profile at the same time. The slogan of the campaign is “If European Broadcasters say yes to genocide, we say no to them.”

In January, 500 Icelandic artists petitioned RÚV to take a stand about Israel’s inclusion in the song contest. Similar petitions were presented to the national broadcasters in other Nordic nations, including in Finland where more than 14,000 Finnish artists signed.

Iceland’s perennial Eurovision commentator Gísli Marteinn Baldursson announced on April 8 he would not be participating in this year’s broadcast on account of Israel’s ongoing offensive in Gaza.

Though calls were mounting during Iceland’s national song competition to not send a contender to Malmö, Hera Björk Þórhallsdóttir decided after winning that she would, in fact, participate in the events in Sweden. She doubled down in recent weeks by expressing her love of the Israeli Eurovision entry.

Eurovision is typically widely watched in Iceland, with streets deserted during the span of the broadcast as people gather in front of their screens. In lieu of the controversial song contest, a number of Icelandic artists have planned concerts and other happenings to take place at the same time as the semi-final and grand final broadcasts. Reykjavík residents can expect performances by the likes of Hatari and Páll Oskar to be announced in the coming days and weeks.

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