ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 142

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Unholy decision

Sam Smith Tel Aviv concert cancelled, citing ‘logistical difficulties’

British star’s show as part of 2-day festival, also featuring Robbie Williams, is scrapped; refunds available to those who bought tickets to see Oscar-, Grammy-winning singer

Sam Smith performs on the first night of the 2022 iHeartRadio Music Festival, Sept. 23, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP/John Locher)
Sam Smith performs on the first night of the 2022 iHeartRadio Music Festival, Sept. 23, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP/John Locher)

The planned Tel Aviv concert by British pop superstar Sam Smith next month has been cancelled, organizers said Friday, citing logistical and technical difficulties.

“Due to unforeseen technical and logistical problems, there will be no shows on the evening of May 31 (including Sam Smith’s),” the show’s production team said in a statement cited by Hebrew-language media. Ticket-holders will be able to get refunds.

Smith’s “Writing’s on the Wall” Bond theme won an Oscar in 2013, and earlier this year he and Kim Petras took home a Grammy for best performance by a pop duo or group for their hit collaboration “Unholy.”

Smith was set to perform as part of a two-day “Summer in the City” festival of music at HaYarkon Park, with the second day to be headlined by Robbie Williams.

Williams, a former Take That star, last performed in Israel in 2015 when he gave a concert in Tel Aviv attended by over 35,000 people.

The boycotts, divestment, and sanctions movement had issued public calls for Smith to cancel his Tel Aviv performance, although it was unclear if it was related.

Israel has for years been confronting a campaign calling for BDS — some artists have pulled out after pressure from boycott campaigners, while others have shrugged off calls to stay away.

A number of big-name acts have canceled planned concerts in Israel over the past few months.

Justin Bieber in September scrapped a Tel Aviv concert due to “ill health,” apparently referring to a syndrome causing partial facial paralysis that he was recently diagnosed with and that caused him to cancel a number of gigs.

Then, the Red Hot Chili Peppers canceled their 2023 show citing scheduling issues. The band had already postponed its planned appearance in Israel twice — in 2020 and in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canadian diva Celine Dion canceled her long-awaited tour including a May 2023 performance at Tel Aviv’s Bloomfield Stadium, citing a health condition that makes it difficult for her to perform.

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