Björk Show Cut Over Kosovo Talk ? “Untrue,” Says Fest

Pitchfork Magazine, 3 mars 2008

EXIT Festival has never cancelled any artist’s performance because of their political point-of-view or statements.”

Following the shake-up last week surrounding Björk’s politically-charged Kosovo song dedication and the subsequent (and, apparently, consequent) cancellation of a purported appearance at the EXIT Festival in Serbia, festival organizers have stepped forward with a statement.

To recap : Björk dedicated her song “Declare Independence” to Kosovo—which recently declared its own independence from Serbia—at a pair of Tokyo concerts in February. The singer rather plainly suggested the EXIT cancellation was the result of her remarks when she told Icelandic newspaper Morgunblaðið, “Maybe a Serb attended my concert [in Tokyo] and called home, and therefore the concert in Novi Sad was cancelled.” The story spread and was picked up by numerous news outlets, including Pitchfork.

Morgunblaðið reported that the cancellation was due to the festival’s inability to provide enough security for performers and audience members.

According to EXIT’s general manager Bojan Boskovic, “These stories are quite bizarre and untrue. EXIT Festival has never cancelled any artist’s performance because of their political point-of-view or statements. We’d like to clarify that the festival is right on track and festival preparations are our best ever, we’re really looking forward to announcing our program and, moreover, seeing everybody again at the event in July.”

Boskovic continues, “EXIT was the first forum in the Balkans to gather people from all the former Yugoslavian countries after the civil wars. Started nine years ago as a student-initiated protest against the Milosevic regime, EXIT has become a symbol of togetherness and cultural diversity and is a social force that every year brings together more and more people, from every background and culture of the region.”

The 2008 EXIT Festival descends on Novi Sad’s Petrovaradin fortress July 10-13. Four performers have been announced thus far— the Sex Pistols, the Hives, Paul Weller, and Nightwish— but organizers would not disclose whether Björk would be playing or if she was indeed at any point a booked or considered performer. They also did not specify if Björk’s performance had been canceled due to non-political reasons (namely, the security issue as previously reported).

Björk’s publicist did not respond to emails about the matter.

Much more certain : Björk tours England and Northern Ireland in April and May, and has a couple non- EXIT festival dates lined up beyond.

par Matthew Solarski“ publié dans Pitchfork Magazine