Music

Madonna to perform at Eurovision song contest in Israel

The singer is expected to perform two songs during next month’s event in Tel Aviv, which British cultural figures have called on the BBC to boycott

Madonna will perform two songs during the interval at next month’s Eurovision Song Contest. Organisers for the event, to be held in Tel Aviv on 18 May, told the BBC “no final decisions have been made, or agreements signed”, but Madonna’s press team are said to have confirmed the news.

Facebook pages for Live Nation Israel and Bluestone Entertainment, a company co-owned by Madonna’s manager, Guy Oseary, also announced the news on Monday. Their posts stated that the star would perform two songs at the contest, to a global audience of 180 million viewers, including a new song from her forthcoming album.

The performance is expected to cost around £765,000, financed by an Israeli-Canadian billionaire, Sylvan Adams, who has funded large events and concerts to support Israel amid movements for artists to boycott the country. Adams told the Jerusalem Post that the concert would improve Israel’s global image.

The BDS Movement has not responded directly to Madonna’s prospective appearance at Eurovision in Israel. It has previously called for a boycott of the festival, stating: “Israel is shamelessly using Eurovision as part of its official Brand Israel strategy, which presents ‘Israel’s prettier face’ to whitewash and distract attention from its war crimes against Palestinians.”

British cultural figures including Vivienne Westwood, Peter Gabriel and Mike Leigh have signed a letter calling on the BBC to cancel coverage of this year’s Eurovision song contest because it is taking place in Israel.

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