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Barclays suspends sponsorship of Live Nation music festivals after protests

Barclays' building in Canary Wharf is seen behind a City of London sign outside Billingsgate Market in London

(Reuters) - Barclays suspended on Friday its sponsorship of all Live Nation music festivals in 2024 after various acts dropped out in protest over the bank's links to defense companies that work with Israel.

The suspension includes upcoming Live Nation festivals across the UK this summer, including Latitude, Download and the Isle of Wight.

"The protestors' agenda is to have Barclays debank defence companies which is a sector we remain committed to as an essential part of keeping this country and our allies safe," the bank's spokesperson told Reuters.

The suspension comes after several artists, including country singer CMAT, metal band Ithaca and comedian Joanne McNally, pulled out of the events.

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Last month, Barclay's annual shareholders' meeting was disrupted by activists protesting against its alleged indirect links to violence in Gaza. The bank had said the week before that it did not invest its own money in companies that supply weapons used by Israel in Gaza.

(Reporting by Angela Christy and Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru; Editing by Alan Barona)