Roger Waters has denied reports that he canceled two concerts in Poland amid outrage over his previously published stance on Russia’s war against Ukraine.
Polish media reported Saturday that Rogers scrapped two concerts scheduled for April 2023 at the Tauron Arena in Krakow. “Roger Waters’ manager decided to withdraw … without giving any reason,” Lukasz Pytko from Tauron Arena Krakow told Polish media outlets, as reported by the Associated Press.
The Pink Floyd co-founder, who is currently on his This Is Not a Drill tour, published an open letter to First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska earlier this month in which he accused “extreme nationalists” of “[setting] your country on the path to this disastrous war.” He also criticized the West, particularly Washington D.C., for “continuing to supply arms to the Kiev government’s armies” and argued that “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.”
Krakow city councilors reportedly expressed “indignation” over Waters’ views on the war and were expected to vote next week on a proposal to name the musician as a persona non grata. On Saturday (Sept. 24), Waters published another open letter on Facebook in which he asserted that he did not, in fact, cancel his Krakow performances, but that local officials are trying to prevent his appearances.
“It is true that a town councillor in Krakow, a Mr. Lukasz Wantuch, has threatened to hold a meeting asking the council to declare me ‘Persona non grata’ because of my public efforts to encourage all involved in the disastrous war in Ukraine, especially the governments of the USA and Russia, to work towards a negotiated peace, rather than escalate matters towards a bitter end that could be nuclear war and the end of all life on this planet,” Waters wrote.
“Notwithstanding that this chap Lukasz Wantuch seems to know nothing of my history of working, all my life, at some personal cost, in the service of human rights, he, in an article in a local newspaper, urged the good people of Krakow not to buy tickets to my show,” he continued. “Not very democratic, sir?
“If Mr Lukasz Wantuch achieves his aim, and my forthcoming concerts in Krakow are cancelled, it will be a sad loss for me, because I have been looking forward to sharing my message of love with the people of Poland, something I have been doing on many tours over a career that has lasted in excess of 50 years,” Waters concluded. “And also, regrettably, it will deny the people of Krakow the opportunity to see my current show, ‘This Is Not A Drill,’ which is an important addition to a lifetime’s body of work. His draconian censoring of my work will deny them the opportunity to make up their own minds.”
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