Janet Jackson and 50 Cent have been added to the bill of an upcoming music festival in Saudi Arabia that organizations are urging artists to avoid due to gender inequality in the nation. The Jeddah World Fest invited Nicki Minaj to the event, who pulled out because of the treatment of women, and the festival has added Future to the lineup as well.
Page Six reports:
The website for the event, to take place Thursday at the King Abdullah Sports Stadium, posted photos of Jackson, 50 Cent and Future alongside previously announced performers Liam Payne and Steve Aoki.
The Human Rights Foundation and other organizations have asked artists not to perform in Saudi Arabia, where gender segregation between single men and women is enforced in many restaurants, coffee shops, public schools and universities. Other rules have loosened in the kingdom with women now allowed to drive and attend events at sports stadiums.
Representatives for Jackson, 50 Cent and Future didn’t immediately reply to emails seeking comment.
Thor Halvorssen, president of the Human Rights Foundation, sent out a statement blasting the artists who signed on for the show.
Under the rule of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia has significantly relaxed some of its stricter policies, especially that of loud music playing as several entertainers have performed there.