Pink Floyd founding member Roger Waters won’t be performing in Poland after his commentary about the war in Ukraine, and he set the record straight about who cancelled his shows.
Waters was scheduled to perform back to back shows in Krakow, Poland in April, but venue promoter Live Nation and an official from Krakow’s Tauron Arena announced that Waters’ pulled out of the concert.
“Roger Waters’ manager decided to withdraw … without giving any reason,” said Tauron Arena’s Lukasz Pytko, according to NPR.
Rogers corrected the accusation in a lengthy Facebook statement on Sunday night. “Correction Roger Waters didn’t cancel Krakow Gigs,” he wrote in an open letter to two news outlets. “Your papers are wrong in their assertions that either, I or my management, has cancelled my forthcoming shows in Krakow, we haven’t.”
According to reports, Krakow officials were set to vote on a proposal to have Waters deemed “persona non grata” for his publicly stated views about the war in Ukraine.
The musician acknowledged that the vote was happening, “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.”
He said the vote was “not very democratic” and he had spent his more than fifty year career working “at some personal cost, in the service of human rights.” Rogers has been “looking forward” to sharing his “message of love” with the people of Poland, and noted that the “draconian censoring” of his music will “deny them the opportunity to make up their own minds.”
The “This Is Not a Drill” performer recently took heat after penning an open letter to Olena Zelenska, the First Lady of Ukraine, on Sept. 5, where he attacked her husband, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, of “extreme nationalism,” and criticized the United States for aiding their war efforts.
Rogers accused Zelenskyy of kowtowing to “certain political factions in Kiev,” and agreeing with “totalitarian, anti-democratic dismissals of the will of the Ukrainian people, and the forces of extreme nationalism that had lurked, malevolent, in the shadows, have, since then, ruled the Ukraine.”
“They have, also since then, crossed any number of red lines that had been set out quite clearly over a number of years by your neighbors the Russian Federation and in consequence they, the extreme nationalists, have set your country on the path to this disastrous war,” he continued.
He also blasted Zelenska for declaring that “If support for Ukraine is strong, the crisis will be shorter,” in an interview with the BBC.
“If by “support for Ukraine” you mean the West continuing to supply arms to the Kiev government’s armies, I fear you may be tragically mistaken,” he concluded. “Throwing fuel, in the form of armaments, into a fire fight, has never worked to shorten a war in the past, and it won’t work now.”