Jordan: Concert by Israeli musician in Wadi Rum cancelled

20 April 2016

nadav dagon wadi rum
Israeli musician Nadav Dagon cancelled his appearance at a three-day music festival scheduled from 7-9 April 2016 in Jordan’s Wadi Rum desert after outcry against the performance surfaced on social media, reaching several parts of Jordan’s society and political groups, reported The Jerusalem Post on 4 April 2016.

A group of members of parliament signed a petition against the performance, telling the musician he was not welcome in the country. Further, the head of the committee on Palestine, MP Yahya Saud, said that while Jordan has to have an economic relationship with Israel, the same should not be extended to cultural relations.

In a statement posted on his Facebook page on 3 April 2016, Dagon said that after posting the event on his page he received great responses, but within them and via sharing there were “strong reactions” and “threats” and was advised by Jordanian police to cancel the event. Once the story made it to national tv, Dagon said he was “bombarded” by media and found himself in a “dark place”.

Sari Al Asaad, head of the Artists’ Union in Jordan, stated that the union had not given permission to the tourism company that applied for holding the event, adding that “the union refuses to give any statement to any Zionist wishing to exercise his work on Jordanian soil” and is against “normalizing” relations between the two countries, reported a news story by the Jordanian Democratic Popular Unity Party on 4 April 2016.

Hani Mulki, head of the Aqaba Authority which oversees Wadi Rum, said that if any request to hold a concert in the desert came across his desk he would deny it as their agreement with UNESCO bans concerts from being performed in the desert, reported Alnabaa News on 3 April 2016.

Dagon’s full Facebook statement posted on his Facebook page on 3 April 2016:

The last 48 hours were crazy and I would’ve never expected to happen. A few months ago a group of party producers from Jordan that I know, have bravely invited me to do a show during their party in the Wadi Rum desert of Jordan and of course I said yes! I was thrilled about it and after telling everyone around me to my surprise, everybody wanted to come with me. When I told it to the organizers of the party they were very happy and we thought that it can be a chance to do something very special and we expended the event to audience from Israel and the world also.

Two days ago I’ve entered my account and find out that the event that we opened on Facebook is getting great response from both sides and that a lot of peoples were interested and share it. Within the shares began to pop up a lot of strong reactions and harm around the media and threats, following that it was recommended by the Jordanian police not to hold the event (and they accompanied us throughout the process).The next morning, our little party has already found its way to the Jordanian TV, and I found myself bombarded with media and in a dark place not about me at all.

I’m a musician whom appears in the world, spreading the love of my art and to communicate to people of all colors and genders, the relationship between me and all what has happened with the Jordan project, has made it difficult and comes to me as delusional and disconnected. My intention is tended to do better and I hope to be very close to reality to allow me to play once in Jordan.

Photo of event from artist’s Facebook page


» The Jerusalem Post – 4 April 2016:
Israeli musician cancels his show in Jordan following anti-Israel outcry

» Jordanian Democratic Popular Unity Party – 4 April 2016:
Artists’ association prevent Zionist concert in Wadi Rum

» Alnabaa News – 3 April 2016:
Mulki: No concert by an Israeli singer in Wadi Rum

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