July 5, 2000
The Twelve Tribes sect was banned from attending this year’s Reading Festival after the Guardian revealed that the cult was using rock events to distribute anti-Semitic literature.
The festival organiser, Mean Fiddler, yesterday turned down an application from Twelve Tribes to bring its mobile cafe, The Common Ground, to Reading. The cafe was a popular meeting point at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, where sect members gave out literature attacking multiculturalism and blaming Jews for the “murder” of Jesus.
A spokesman for the organiser of the Reading event, which takes place over the bank holiday weekend August 25-27, said: “The Mean Fiddler has always believed that music events should not be used by organisations to preach religious or political beliefs at attendees, regardless of the content of those beliefs.
“In accordance with this policy, both the Twelve Tribes and Common Ground cafe have had their application for the festival rejected.”
While all religious preaching is prohibited at Reading, the content of Twelve Tribes literature “made the decision to ban them much easier,” a spokesman said.
Artists playing the Reading weekend include Oasis, Primal Scream, Stereophonics and Beck.