The globally acclaimed Israeli music group Balkan Beat Box is scheduled to perform in Munich Wednesday as part of its European tour. Normally, this would hardly merit an upturned eyebrow, but Wednesday evening is the start of Holocaust Remembrance Day — which in Israel is marked by a complete shutdown of all entertainment and cultural venues. Shows go dark, restaurants close down and the TV networks broadcast solemn documentaries about the genocide of the Jews.
Band members (who at one point were performing under the now-defunct JDub label) said they weren’t aware when the concert was booked of the problematic scheduling coincidence (both time and location). But they decided to perform anyway.
The group released a statement to Israeli media saying, “Balkan Beat Box is a group that is active in the international music market. Its activities and staff works in three continents. Since the release of the album ‘Give,’ the group went on intensive tour all over the world, which are booked by European and American staff months in advance. As part of that, the April tour was booked with the Munich show. When the Israeli band members received the schedule they realized that show was set for April 18, and a discussion over the question of whether to perform was made, with many serious issues considered. However, eventually it was determined to still put on the show.
“One of the main massages of the Balkan Beat Box, if not the main one – is the call for full equality between people of all colors, sex and gender, and also battling racism. Naturally, this show will be held in a different form than other nights, considering the timing and the importance of this day. The band apologizes for anyone who is offended by the decision.”
Listen to Balkan Beat Box song “What a Night” from their album “Give.”