WARNING: This article contains descriptions of hate speech and sexual harassment. Find a list of resources to help at the end of the article.
Felix Hall has stepped down from his regular slot on NTS and been removed from club and festival line-ups after multiple DJs spoke out about abusive experiences with the London-based DJ and radio host, including sending them death threats and anti-Palestinian hate speech on social media.
On April 11, New York-based artist Rainstick, real name Anthony Lowe, posted a statement on Instagram saying that Hall sent “completely unprovoked, violent zionist messages, including vile death threats against my family” on Friday, April 7.
“I learned that he also menaced at least two other people - female musicians of colour - with zionist messages, and that this may be a pattern of anti-Palestinian behaviour,” Lowe added.
In a statement sent Mixmag, Lowe said: “I have never before had a personal issue with Felix Hall. The issue is the bigotry, racism and violence he has displayed (and then tried to hide), and the greater dangers they represent.”
Since Lowe’s public statement, several musicians have also stepped forward to share their experiences with Hall, including North African DJ Marwa Belhaj Youssef, who posted a screenshot on Instagram of an Israel flag emoji she received in a message from Hall two days before Lowe's statement.
Marwa told Mixmag that she had "never had a conversation with Hall" prior to receiving the message earlier in April, and was "totally shocked" at his provocation. "He is a danger for this scene which should be a safe space for all of us," she added.
Manuka Honey also posted a statement on Twitter on Tuesday, April 11, stating her own experiences with Hall “four years later”. She alleged that Hall “refused to perform before me on a line-up claiming to be a ‘better DJ’,” and had “rescinded” booking her after she refused to sleep with him.
Four years later I’m finally speaking up about my experiences with Felix Hall pic.twitter.com/IRgpL4g9Wq— MACHETE / 777 OUT NOW (@mariimals) April 11, 2023
Hall responded to the allegations on Instagram, but has since deactivated his profile. The statement said he is “struggling with mental health”, and was attempting to come to terms with the death of his father, the late Terry Hall of The Specials, who passed away in December.
“An unhealthy relationship with alcohol is also unfortunately present, yet I am absolutely determined to both address and change this in every way possible,” he said.
The non-apology that was given manages to somehow frame felix as the victim and dangerously weaponizes mental health and grief as reasons behind racist and violent behavior, which is an insult to people who have experienced grief and who suffer from mental health problems. pic.twitter.com/zZJze8ry2L— Nihal | نهال (@NotNihal) April 10, 2023
In a statement sent to Mixmag, Nihal added: “People in solidarity with Palestine and anti-racists in general should not be shying away from having difficult conversations with people in their circles, even if it causes friction.”
Felix Hall has now made the decision to leave his regular show on NTS, which he had held since 2016. “We were made aware of the situation over the weekend and obviously we were shocked and upset,” NTS told Mixmag.
“Felix has decided to step down from his NTS show, which we agree is the best course of action. NTS doesn’t tolerate any forms of racism or bigotry.”
London’s GALA Festival has removed Felix Hall from the line-up of its 2023 edition in May. The festival posted the decision in a statement on social media on April 11 writing: “We are saddened to learn of the comments made by Felix Hall recently, who was booked to play at GALA this year.
“We have zero tolerance for hatefulness, especially towards oppressed communities. In solidarity with the victims of Hall’s threats, and all the Palestinian people, we are removing Hall from the line-up.”
Hall was also scheduled to play London’s Venue MOT on Sunday, April 9, but was removed from the bill and associated artwork. Venue MOT did not respond to a request for comment.
French label Few Crackles, which released Hall’s ‘Few Crackles Riddims’ mixtape in 2020, has removed the release from Bandcamp and posted a statement condemning Hall’s actions on Instagram and indicating future collaboration plans have been cancelled.
Lowe’s statement to Mixmag noted: “I made my statement for public safety and, as always, for Palestine. I will never stop fighting for Palestinian liberation.”
“The brutal occupation of Palestine, and the dispossession of Palestinian land, life and freedom has been an atrocity that the world has ignored for over 75 years. It is not a conflict, and it is not complicated.”
Felix Hall has not responded to a request for comment.
In solidarity with the people of Palestine, find a list of ways to show your support below:
AFEM sponsor a confidential support service for anyone affected by sexual harassment within the Electronic Music Industry
Health Assured provide the service to ensure confidential expert counselling
A safe and supportive environment for anyone who has been affected and needs guidance and support
Call 0800 030 5182, (Outside the UK: +44 800 030 5182) where trained experts will listen and support.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter