Tell Imagine Dragons: Cancel Your Apartheid Israel & Azerbaijan Concerts
On August 29, the popular, top-selling band Imagine Dragons is scheduled to perform in apartheid Israel, at a site literally on the ruins of the ethnically cleansed Palestinian village of Jarisha. And on Sept. 2, the band is scheduled to perform in Baku, Azerbaijan, going against a letter from System of a Down’s Serj Tankian asking them not to whitewash Azerbaijan’s war crimes against Armenians.
We have only days left to reach Imagine Dragons to make sure the band doesn’t go through with performing for violent regimes. You can join 6,800+ people calling the band to make the right decision.
Imagine Dragons has used its music to support human rights in the past, advocating for refugees and the LGBTQIA+ community. Palestinian and Armenian human rights should be no exception.
Palestinian civil society has long been calling on artists to skip performing in apartheid Israel, just as conscientious artists refused to perform in apartheid South Africa.
The current Israeli government is the most racist, homophobic, fundamentalist, and far-right yet, killing more than 200 Palestinian people in 2023 alone. One senior minister proudly identifies as a “fascist homophobe.”
“Imagine Dragons really wants to make people feel safe and loved,” frontman Dan Reynolds said in the trailer for the band’s new live concert film this summer.
It’s time to ask Imagine Dragons: Does that statement include Palestinians living under Israel’s violent apartheid, siege, and military occupation? What about Armenians trapped and starving under Azerbaijan’s blockade?
Palestinian people from the ethnically cleansed village of Jarisha will not feel safe knowing Imagine Dragons is planning to perform on the ruins of their homes. Nor are Palestinian people safe anywhere under Israel’s violent apartheid system.
Serj Tankian from the band System of a Down wrote that “Imagine Dragons needs to be made aware they are being USED to white-wash” the Azerbaijan regime’s crimes against humanity. Exactly as we see with the Israeli regime’s whitewashing.
If Imagine Dragons truly believes all people have the same right to live in safety and freedom, then it must skip its stops in apartheid Israel and Azerbaijan.
A growing movement of artists like Sam Smith, Lorde, Lana Del Rey, and Big Thief have all canceled their apartheid Israel concerts. With the strength of our people power, Imagine Dragons can be the next band to take a stand for Palestinian human rights.
Most recently, prominent figures like Gabor Maté and Roger Waters sent a letter urging the band to cancel both concerts.
Let’s ask Imagine Dragons to #ImagineEndingApartheid and advocate for a world where the Palestinian people, and all people, are free.
Now’s the time to escalate the pressure to make sure the band can’t ignore our collective voices. If you’re on social media, you can also take action by posting. Use our toolkit at uscpr.org/ImagineToolkit.
Together, we have the power to make an impact. Thank you for raising your voice for human rights.