Friday, October 25, 2019

Indie Acts Calling For Boycott Of Amazon Music Festival

Amazon is under fire from a growing number of musicians vowing to refrain from any Amazon-linked events or partnerships, reports The Seattle Times.

Last week, eyebrows raised when Amazon Web Services unveiled a pretty solid lineup for a Las Vegas music festival. The Intersect Music Festival (Dec. 6-7) is an open-to-the-public ancillary event to an annual conference Amazon hosts. The two-day fest is set to include stars such as Washington’s own Brandi Carlile, the Foo Fighters, Kacey Musgraves, Beck, and Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, plus hip indie acts Toro y Moi, Japanese Breakfast, Jpegmafia, and Sub Pop’s Weyes Blood.

In response, digital rights organization Fight for the Future launched a “No Music for ICE” petition on Wednesday, calling on artists to boycott Amazon-backed events and partnerships over its cloud services contracts with ICE and other federal agencies. “We the undersigned artists are outraged that Amazon continues to provide the technical backbone for ICE’s human rights abuses,” reads an open letter signed by more some 475 artists as of this writing.

Among its demands, the letter asks Amazon to terminate contracts with military, police and government agencies “that commit human rights abuses” and stop providing cloud services to organizations “that power the US government’s deportation machine.”

An Amazon representative could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

Thus far, the growing number of petition signers have largely been indie acts, a roster that would make for a stellar music festival of their own, but without enough commercial sway to really make the tech juggernaut feel it. A number of Seattle musicians have signed the pledge, including Car Seat Headrest, Chastity Belt, Versing, Lisa Prank, Razor Clam, Emma Lee Toyoda, and Great Grandpa’s Alex Menne.

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