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Pink Floyd’s founder has slammed how Roger Waters defends himself against canceling concerts

Pink Floyd’s founder has slammed how Roger Waters defends himself against canceling concerts


Roger Waters performances canceled due to allegations of anti-Semitism The musician finds his freedom of expression limited and defends himself legally. The Swiss concert will take place.

What happened? Roger Waters planned to play in Munich and Frankfurt during his European tour on May 21-28. But the authorities of the two cities do not want to allow the musician to perform. He is now taking legal action over the cancellations and defending himself against allegations of anti-Semitism.

“My attorneys are taking steps to ensure that my concerts in Munich and Frankfurt in May 2023 will take place as contractually agreed,” Waters said in a statement from his management. It will probably end up in court.

Frankfurt describes the 79-year-old as “one of the world’s most widespread anti-Semites”. Why? Time and again Roger Waters takes a clear stance on the conflict in the Middle East, including on stage. During concerts, for example, he let balloons in the shape of a pig glide across the audience. The Star of David is depicted on it, along with the emblems of automobile and oil companies. The symbol does not primarily refer to the State of Israel, but to Judaism.

Waters is also one of the most prominent representatives of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement. He wants to isolate the State of Israel politically, culturally and economically because of its Palestinian policy. The boundaries between criticism of the state and antisemitism have become blurred.


Again and again a stance on the conflict in the Middle East: Roger Waters speaks at an event on Palestine in Uruguay in November 2018. The musician wears a keffiyeh, a political symbol that has come to be known as the “Palestinian scarf.”

IMAGO / EFE Agency

The city of Frankfurt is not playing the mystery game and clearly calls Waters an anti-Semite. The refusal to allow him to play in the Festival Hall also has symbolic power for the city: more than 1,000 Jewish men were dragged into this hall on the night of the pogrom in 1938 only to be deported later.

What is your reaction to canceling the concert? Roger Waters and his management describe the cancellation as an attempt to silence the musician and see freedom of expression in danger. Bild newspaper calculated that the management could claim damages of around €2.7 million, based on the loss of ticket income.

In addition, Waters has the support of notable musicians: Eric Clapton, Peter Gabriel and Brian Eno signed to the platform A petition calling for the concert to go ahead.

How do other cities deal with this? In Munich, the Economic Committee of the City Council put the topic on the agenda for the meeting on March 22. The concert will likely take place in Berlin, because the Mercedes-Benz arena there is privately owned.

Waters’ concert in Zurich is also scheduled to take place on April 25 at the Hallenstadion, although the Swiss-Israeli Association has asked the city to ban the concert. Since the performance does not require a permit, the ball is in the hands of Hallenstadion AG. This does not want to interfere as long as the artists do not violate applicable Swiss law.

A concert in Kraków has already been canceled, but for other reasons: because Roger Waters was not only criticized for allegations of anti-Semitism. Recently, at the invitation of Russia, he spoke before the United Nations Security Council.

There he called the invasion of Russia illegal, but also blamed it on Western provocations and condemned arms deliveries to Ukraine. For this statement, the Kraków City Council declared him persona non grata.

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