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Kate Tempest cancels concert

British rapper Kate Tempest has cancelled her concert with orchestra and choir for the Volksbühne Berlin, scheduled for 6 October 2017 in Tempelhof Airport's Hangar 5. Tempest's manager, ATC management in London, stated that the reason for cancellation was threats against her person: “We have continued to receive personal threats via email and over social media and this is not a conducive environment in which to present our concert. Kate does not want to perform in such an aggressive atmosphere and I do not want to take a further risk with her mental health or potentially our team's safety.”

Over the course of the BDS (“Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions”) movement's calls for boycotting the “Pop-Kultur” festival in Berlin in August, Kate Tempest was named in several articles as a supporter of the movement, because in 2015 she, along with 1,220 other British artists, pledged to refuse any professional engagements in Israel, out of solidarity with the Palestinians (“Artists for Palestine UK”). Christian Morin, Volksbühne music curator since 2009 and “Pop-Kultur” co-curator, was also affected by the boycott and the eight artists that backed out as a result.

The Volksbühne had invited Kate Tempest, called Britain's arguably most significant poet by German radio (Deutschlandfunk), to give an exclusive performance of her album Let Them Eat Chaos, with a band, orchestra and, for the first time, choral accompaniment - from the Chor der Kulturen der Welt (Choir of World Cultures) under Barbara Morgenstern's direction.

Chris Dercon: “I very much regret that Kate Tempest has decided not to perform in Berlin. That is a huge disappointment for us and the many patrons who were looking forward to the concert. While I can understand her unease in this situation, I wish that the artist would have opened up a dialogue with her audience. That's why we make art”.

A large portion of the 2,000 tickets have already been sold for the concert in Tempelhof's Hangar 5. Tickets can be returned for a refund until 20 October 2017 via the respective booking office.

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