The Black Madonna is as famous for her political stances as she is for her groove-heavy DJ sets. She’s a strong advocate of female empowerment, LGBTQ rights and the immigrant community, so if she were to play a festival sponsored and produced by a company that reportedly has business ties to ICE and homeland security, it would be a strange look.
The Chicago-bred DJ and producer, therefore, removed herself from the lineup of Amazon’s forthcoming Intersect Festival, planned for Dec. 6 and 7 in Las Vegas.
What’s the stink? Well, Amazon Web Services hosts the DHS databases, which reportedly allows the department and its agencies to track immigrants, while according to a report by The Guardian from July of this year, the company was “also in talks to expand a partnership to host new DHS biometric databases that store more extensive data, including eye color, tattoos and other identifiers.” Many, including immigrants and some of Amazon’s own employees, have protested the relationship.
“I was not approached by employees of Amazon,” The Black Madonna stated on social media in an announcement of her decision to drop off the bill. “I was never formally or informally advised of any Amazon branding. The offer I accepted did not propose any kind of brand partnership. I am profoundly disappointed that anyone, at any level, in the long chain of people between the offer I saw and the eventual promotion of this event presumed I would.”
A spokesperson from Amazon Web Services denied the claim.
“Our affiliation with Intersect Festival is clear in both the contract that was signed by Black Madonna’s management team and in the creative materials that were reviewed and approved,” they tell Billboard. “‘Amazon Web Services’ was named in the contract five separate times. Regardless, we’ve decided to release her from her contractual obligation.”
The Black Madonna continues that she is, “in total solidarity with the demonstrators, workers, other tech laborers, and immigrants and all people of conscience.” Kacey Musgraves, Beck, Foo Fighters and Anderson. Paak are scheduled to headline the event, as are electronic artists Gesaffelstein, Jamie XX, Flying Lotus and others. A spokesperson for the Intersect Festival could not be reached for comment at press time.
Learn more at Intersect’s website and read The Black Madonna’s full message below.
A note regarding Intersect Festival. -?? Madge pic.twitter.com/W0xTUfYGHn
— THE BLACK MADONNA (@blackmadonnachi) October 19, 2019