Roger Waters Us+Them Tour 2018, Estadio Nacional Chile. Photo: Andrés Ibarra


Former Pink Floyd bassist and singer, Roger Waters, has taken legal action against proposed concert cancellations in Frankfurt and Munich. The Hessian State Government and the Magistrate of the City of Frankfurt had announced their intention to cancel Waters' concert, which was scheduled to take place on 28 May at Festhalle in Frankfurt. Meanwhile, a motion was introduced in the Munich City Council to cancel the concert scheduled for 21 May 2023, at the Munich Olympiahalle.

These actions were taken based on false accusations of antisemitism against Waters, who is a vocal critic of the Israeli government and its policies towards Palestinians.

Waters’ lawyers argue that the proposed cancellations are unconstitutional, unjustifiable and infringe upon his fundamental human right of freedom of speech. They plan to overturn the decision and ensure that all those who wish to attend the concerts are free to do so. The former Pink Floyd frontman believes that if this attempt to silence him is left unchallenged, it could have serious consequences for artists and activists all over the world.

The Frankfurt cancellation decision was based on allegations of Waters’ support for the controversial BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions), which calls for a boycott of Israel to force the nation’s government to change its policies toward Palestinians. The city council in Frankfurt claimed that Waters repeatedly called for a cultural boycott of Israel, drew comparisons to the apartheid regime in South Africa, put pressure on artists to cancel events in Israel and exhibited anti-Israel behavior.

Waters has also faced criticism in Poland where concerts were cancelled after his comments on the war in Ukraine provoked a backlash. Waters wrote an open letter to Ukraine’s first lady Olena Zelenska urging her to ask her husband to choose a different route and criticising the West for supplying Ukraine with arms. This sparked outrage among Polish media, which resulted in concerts being cancelled in Krakow.

While Waters has not issued an official statement on the recent cancellations, he retweeted messages of support from an author and editor at the Palestine Chronicle who denied that the singer is an antisemite and an editor at the Delhi, India-based Marxist publishing house Leftword Books, who defended Waters’ stance on Israel. He also criticised local councillor Lukasz Wantuch for declaring him persona non grata in Krakow.

Waters’ legal action and defence of freedom of speech highlight the growing problem of cancel culture, where individuals are targeted for their views and beliefs, leading to an infringement of their rights. It remains to be seen whether he will be successful in overturning the decision, but this case raises important questions about the right to express one’s views without fear of censorship or retribution.