German City Cancels Roger Waters Concert: “One of the World’s Most Well-Known Antisemites”

Waters has shared increasingly polarizing thoughts on Israel, Russia, and Ukraine

roger waters concert canceled
Roger Waters, photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

    The city of Frankfurt, Germany has canceled an upcoming concert by Roger Waters after the artist espoused remarks the city council deemed to be antisemitic. In a statement, Frankfurt’s city council called Waters “one of the world’s most well-known antisemites.”

    The former Pink Floyd member was slated to perform on May 28th at Frankfurt’s Festhalle, a venue that used to be a Jewish detention camp. 3,000 Jewish men were held at Festhalle during Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, from November 9th to 10th, 1938. Munich’s city council later filed a motion to cancel Waters’ May 21st concert at Olympiahalle.

    As the venue is partially owned by the city, the council voted to cancel Waters’ show, citing his support for the BDS Movement and his defense of Russian president Vladimir Putin, among other reasons. “The background to the cancellation is the persistent anti-Israel behavior of the former Pink Floyd frontman, who is considered one of the most widely spread antisemites in the world,” the council said in a statement.


    Update — March 17th: Waters has threatened to take legal action against any city authorities that instruct venues or promoters to cancel his concerts. “These actions are unconstitutional, without justification, and based upon the false accusation that Roger Waters is antisemitic, which he is not,” reads a joint statement from the Höcker law firm and Waters’ UK manager. “Mr. Waters believes that if this blatant attempt to silence him is left unchallenged it could have serious, far-reaching consequences for artists and activists all over the world.”

    Waters has always been a politically outspoken artist, but his beliefs in recent years have grown increasingly polarizing. In 2020,  he described Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people as an “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing,” and likened Israel to Nazi Germany.

    Earlier this month, Waters appeared before the UN Security Councia and delivered a bizarre speech in which he blamed Ukraine and NATO for provoking a war with Russia. He also dismissed allegations of Russian war crimes as “lies, lies, lies, lies,” while claiming that “Nazis are in control” of Ukraine’s government and that US president Joe Biden is the true “war criminal.”


    These statements prompted his former Pink Floyd bandmate David Gilmour to publicly call out Waters as a “misogynistic, antisemitic Putin apologist.”

    This article has been updated to add Munich’s city council filed a motion to cancel Waters’ May 21st concert at Olympiahalle.