'Antisemitic' Roger Waters banned from appearing at Frankfurt concert

The Pink Floyd bassist has been uninvited from the state-sponsored event


LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 27: Roger Waters performs onstage at Arena on September 27, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters has been denied a stage by the German city of Frankfurt because of his alleged antisemitism.

The city administration of Frankfurt am Main and the state of Hesse has officially blocked Waters, 79, from performing at a major music festival in May, because of his alleged anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

It has instructed the organisers of the Main metropolis fair to “terminate the contract” immediately.

In a statement, the administration said bassist Waters was considered "one of the most far-reaching antisemites in the world” and slammed his persistently anti-Israeli rhetoric at public appearances.

Waters had, for example, repeatedly compared Israel with the racist oppression of the apartheid regime in South Africa.

And between 2010-2013, during his “The Wall Live” tour, a balloon in the shape of a pig with images of the Star of David appeared at more than 200 concerts.

Waters has also often supported the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, which strives to isolate Israel politically and culturally.

The city of Frankfurt am Main holds a 60 per cent stake and the State of Hesse 40 per cent in Messe Frankfurt GmbH, a trade fair company which owns the historic Festhalle, the concert venue where Waters was due to play on 28 May.

“I welcome the cancellation. Otherwise, the damage would be much greater,” said city mayoral candidate Uwe Becker.

He referred to how in November 1938, 3,000 Jews from Frankfurt were sent to the Festhalle by the Nazis before being deported to death camps. On the square in front of the Festhalle, a memorial plaque honours them.

Fellow mayoral candidates Manuela Rottmann, 50, and Mike Josef, 40, also supported the decision.

“Freedom of art is a precious asset. But with openly antisemitic appearances in a place with this history, a line was crossed,” said Rottmann.

Last year, some of Germany’s top government officials responsible for combating antisemitism called on German music venues to cancel the German leg Waters' tour.

Mr Becker said in November 2022 that Mr Waters had “developed more and more into a hateful opponent of Israel.

“For years, Mr Waters has been using his reputation to agitate against the Jewish state in a defamatory way and to question its legitimacy.

“Waters is a bad example of aggressive, Israel-related antisemitism and he should therefore not be given an artistic platform in Hesse.”

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