Elton John to headline Life Festival in Auschwitz town


WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — Elton John will headline the next Life Festival Oswiecim, the Polish town where the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was located.

John will perform there in June, the festival announced Thursday.

“Like everyone, I am shocked by the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and elsewhere. In June, in Oswiecim, we’ll be celebrating life, peace and music,” John said in a statement published on the festival’s website.

In May, John reportedly will perform in Tel Aviv. It will be his fourth visit to Israel.

Life Festival Oswiecim was organized for the first time in 2010. It was the idea of Polish journalist Darek Maciborek, who was born in Oswiecim and wanted to “break the spell” of the town commonly associated solely with the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi camp, which is now a museum and memorial site.

The festival says it stands for building peaceful relations beyond cultural and state borders, and protesting against anti-Semitism, racism and other forms of xenophobia.

Pop stars who have performed at the festival in previous years include James Blunt, Matisyahu, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Soundgarden, Eric Clapton and Chris De Burgh.

Last year, organizers canceled a concert by the Serbian musician Goran Bregovic after he performed in Crimea, which was annexed by Russia. The artist declined to condemn Russia’s armed intervention in Ukraine.


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