TWO groups which support Palestine are offering an alternative to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest final taking place in Israel’s Tel Aviv on Saturday May 18.

Bath Friends of Palestine and Bradford-on-Avon Friends of Palestine are co-presenting a celebration of Palestinian music, culture and life in the Old Theatre Royal, Bath, from 7.30pm.

The concert has been described as a ‘palliative’ to the Eurovision Song Contest final in Tel Aviv that same evening.

Headlining will be the Maram Oriental Ensemble, a five-piece festival-prize-winning band from Tuscany led by the Palestinian singer and oud player Taisir Masrieh.

They will be performing traditional Arabic songs in a sophisticated, crowd-pleasing fusion of Middle Eastern and Western musical styles.

Yara Salahiddeen, a Palestinian singer and percussionist with Oxford Maqam, will be accompanied on qanun, a string instrument, by her colleague Martin Stokes.

They will perform a short set of popular Palestinian songs dating from before the foundation of Israel in 1948.

Huw Spanner, secretary of Bath FOP, said: “Eurovision is traditionally a good-humoured jamboree of European pop culture and friendship between nations.

“The Friends of Palestine in Bath and Bradford-on-Avon are offering an alternative: an evening of real, high-quality music and genuine goodwill. Everyone is welcome.”

Bath Friends of Palestine (patron Ken Loach) was founded in 2016 while Bradford-on-Avon Friends of Palestine was founded in 2013. Both groups work for peace, justice and freedom for all people living in Palestine.

Tickets are £20 (students £15) from Bath Box Office and online from Eventbrite at