Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant Cancels On Danish Festival To Protest Whaling

Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Tom Jamieson/The New York Times

Led Zeppelins Robert Plant has canceled an upcoming G! Festival appearance in protest of an annual whaling practice known as grindadráp (the “Grind”).

G! Festival, is a yearly event held at the seaside village of Gøta on the Danish archipelago of the Faroe Islands.

Coinciding with the festival the Grind sees over a thousand pilot whales and dolphins driven to the shores of local beaches and slaughtered by island residents.

While the Grind is a thousand-year-old tradition, the manner in which it is conducted is considered by animal rights activists as appallingly cruel.

When whalers locate the whale pods,” local Rannvá Johansen has shared of the event to, “they are driven ashore, [which can take] a very long time. The whales then get stressed and the entire whale family can see each other being killed and hear screaming from their babies. They can only wait for themselves to feel the knife.”

Plant was set to perform at the festival on July 18th,

However, G! Festival has now announced via its official website that the Led Zeppelin vocalist and new backing outfit Saving Grace will no longer appear after having the cull brought to their attention by environmental advocacy group Blue Planet Society.

We’re disappointed and annoyed with the cancelation,” G! Festival’s managing director Sigvør Laksá has shared via the events official website, “We’ve been excited and happy with the massive interest and the positive reception to the announcement of Saving Grace, especially the Robert Plant fever that naturally comes with it.”

It seems somewhat unprofessional for these acts to pull out of a booking without any prior notice or attempt at constructive dialogue which might have allowed us to address the artist’s concerns,”  Laksá continues, “It also appears contradictory when an artist is happy to play in countries like Norway and Iceland [which carry out commercial whaling], which Mr. Plant has done in the past, even in 2019.

This is a severe blow for the festival,” Sigvør concludes, “which forces us to rethink our approach in producing the G! Festival.”

Plant, who has not publicly commented on the cancellation, is not the first major act to cancel an appearance at the festival after having the cull brought to their attention.

Pop singer Lewis Capaldi and American rapper Princess Nokia have also declined to appear at the festival in wake of the information coming to light.

Fatboy Slim donated his booking fee for the event to marine conservation causes after later being informed.

You can sign a petition to end the cull here.


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