This December, Amazon Web Services, Amazon’s cloud computer and web hosting arm, will host Las Vegas’ Intersect Festival, the service’s first music festival. There’s no acknowledgement of Amazon’s involvment in the festival’s promotional materials. Last week, dance producer the Black Madonna, booked to perform at Intersect, reacted with outrage upon learning that Intersect was an Amazon property, pulling out of the festival with an angry statement. And now, a week later, a number of other musicians have followed her lead, pledging not to work with Amazon until the company changes its business practices.
There are plenty of interrelated reasons to be mad about Amazon — the treatment of workers, the devastation of local businesses, the fact that its owner is now the richest person in human history. But the specific focus, in this case, is in the way that Amazon hosts the servers for ICE and other government agencies.
Artists signing that statement include Priests, Downtown Boys, Sheer Mag, Jeff Rosenstock, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Ted Leo, Deerhoof, Immortal Technique, Xiu Xiu, and Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto. In their statement, the artists offer these demands:
• Terminate existing contracts with military, law enforcement, and government agencies (ICE, CBP, ORR) that commit human rights abuses
• Stop providing Cloud services & tools to organizations (such as Palantir) that power the US government’s deportation machine
• End projects that encourage racial profiling and discrimination, such as Amazon’s facial recognition product
• Reject future engagements w/ aforementioned bad actors.
You can read the No Music For ICE press release here.