Roger Waters shows in Poland canceled after remarks on Ukraine
Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters has never been one to hide his political thoughts. In his current “This Is Not a Drill” solo tour, a message appears on screens before the show even begins, stating, “If you’re one of those ‘I love Pink Floyd, but I can’t stand Roger’s policy “people, you better fuck off at the bar right now. Thank you and enjoy the show.”
But now the British rock legend’s controversial remarks about the ongoing Russian-led conflict in Ukraine have had tangible consequences, resulting in the cancellation of his upcoming shows in Poland in April 2023.
This all stems from an open letter Waters posted on his website in early September, addressed to Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska, in which he blamed what he called Ukraine’s “extreme nationalists.” [that] put your country on the path to this disastrous war.”
Additionally, Waters warned the West, particularly the United States, against supplying Ukraine with military weapons and fired back at an interview Zelenska gave to the BBC in which she reportedly said, “If support for Ukraine is strong, the crisis will be shorter. ”
Waters responded in his open letter by stating, “If by ‘support for Ukraine’ you mean that the West continues to supply arms to the armies of the government in kyiv, I fear you are tragically mistaken. Throwing fuel, in the form of armaments, into a firefight has never worked to shorten a war in the past, and it won’t work now.”
Zelenska responded to Waters’ letter in a post on Twitter on September 6, advising Waters to sue for peace from the Russian Federation.
The letter also triggered Krakow city councilor Łukasz Wantuch, who had ordered his constituents to boycott Waters’ shows in Poland next year and had been behind a motion to declare Waters “persona non”. grata”. It was due to be voted on by the council on September 28, according to the BBC.
CNN reports that Live Nation Poland is confirming the show cancellations but the promoter has so far offered no explanation. However, Waters responded in a statement on Facebook on Sunday to dispel rumors that he himself canceled the shows.
In a message to the Guardian and the Gazeta Krakowska newspaper in Poland which both printed that Waters had canceled the broadcasts, the musician said: “It is true that a city councilor from Krakow, a Mr Łukasz Wantuch, threatened to hold a meeting asking the council to declare me “persona non grata” because of my public efforts to encourage all those involved in the disastrous war in Ukraine, in particular the governments of the United States and Russia, to work for a negotiated peace, rather than escalating to a bitter end it could be nuclear war and the end of all life on this planet.”
Waters continued: “I couldn’t wait to share my message of love with the people of Poland, something I’ve done on many tours in a career that spanned more than fifty years. And also, sadly , it will deny the Krakow the opportunity to see my current show, “This is not an exercise”, which is an important addition to his lifetime’s work. His draconian censorship of my work will deny them the opportunity to make up their own minds.”
Waters posted a response to the show cancellations on his Facebook page
Rock + metal bands help provide support for Ukraine
Amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that began in February 2022, several rock and metal bands have found ways to offer support to affected Ukrainians. See below.