Roger Waters cancels gigs in Poland amid row over Ukraine war comments

Pink Floyd co-founder's stance on Russia's war against Ukraine has sparked ‘indignation’ in Kraków

Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters has cancelled concerts planned in Poland amid outrage over his stance on Russia’s war against Ukraine, Polish media reported on Saturday.

An official with the Tauron Arena in Kraków, where the musician was scheduled to perform two concerts in April 2023, said they would no longer take place.

“Roger Waters’ manager decided to withdraw – without giving any reason,” Łukasz Pytko, from Tauron Arena Kraków, said in comments reported by Polish media outlets.

The website for Waters’ This Is Not a Drill concert tour did not list the Kraków concerts previously scheduled for 21 and 22 April.

City councillors in Kraków were expected to vote next week on a proposal to name Waters as a persona non grata, expressing “indignation” over the musician’s stance on the war in Ukraine.

Waters wrote an open letter to the Ukrainian first lady, Olena Zelenska, early this month in which he blamed “extreme nationalists” in Ukraine for having “set your country on the path to this disastrous war”.

The 79-year-old also criticised the west for supplying Ukraine with weapons, blaming Washington, in particular. Waters has also condemned Nato, accusing it of provoking Russia.

It is not the first time that the British songwriter has expressed his views on international politics.

In 2019, he criticised a Live Aid-style concert to raise funds for humanitarian aid for Venezuela, claiming it is a US-backed effort to tarnish the socialist government.

The show in the Colombian border city of Cúcuta aimed to raise millions of dollars to provide food and medicine for Venezuelans suffering widespread shortages.

The row came as Venezuelan security forces were accused of executing dozens of people and arbitrarily detaining hundreds of others in a campaign to punish people who protested against President Nicolás Maduro.

In 2018 during a concert in Brazil before presidential elections, Waters spoke out against the rightwing candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who is currently president.

Contributor

Nadeem Badshah and agency

The GuardianTramp

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