Some surprising news from Scotland’s well-known anarcho-punk band Oi Polloi, a bilingual group who produce songs with both English and Scottish Gaelic lyrics. They have issued a statement on their Facebook Page claiming that the organisers of a music festival in Germany have objected to the band playing Scottish language songs and cancelled their planned gig.
“We’re very sorry to announce that our March 1st gig at the Horte social centre in Strausberg in eastern Germany is now cancelled after we were “banned” when organisers realised that – shock horror – we sometimes sing in Gaelic, one of the UK’s minority Celtic languages. Like many other minority language speakers we’re used to abuse from “Speak English or Die” British Nationalist types at home but it’s especially depressing to come across an attitude of such hostility to multiculturalism and diversity in what we thought would be a progressive social centre. We know that speakers of Sorbisch, the Slavic minority language in parts of eastern Germany, also suffer the same kind of ignorance and hostility from those who want them to all speak Hochdeutsch instead but we had hoped that a place like the Horte centre would be different. Needless to say this will only spur us on to continue to campaign for respect for minority cultures, diversity and linguistic human rights. We’d also call on all politically-aware touring bands to boycott the so-called “Kulturzentrum” Horte – there can be no place for racism or discrimination against minorities in our scene. For diversity, multiculturalism, respect for minorities and a punk scene free of discrimination!”
All very strange and uncharacteristic of most European music festivals I have heard of. I will update when I hear more.
03.02.2014 Updated news here.
[Thanks to Daithí Mac Lochlainn for the links]