British rock legend and Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters’ planned concerts in Poland in April were canceled amid backlash over the musician’s stance on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Live Nation Poland, the promoter of the concert, confirmed the cancellation on Saturday but did not specify the reason.
The cancellation comes after Waters, 79, posted a controversial open letter on his website in early September to the first lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska. In the letter, Waters wrote that he opposed the West sending weapons to Ukraine to help the beleaguered country in its war against the Russian invasion.
Waters also accused Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky of doubling down on his 2019 election campaign promises, saying, without offering evidence, that “forces of extreme nationalism that had lurked, malevolent, in the shadows, have ruled Ukraine ever since.”
Waters went on to accuse these “extreme nationalists” of putting Ukraine on the path to war with Russia by crossing a “series of red lines” set by the Kremlin.
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On Sunday, Waters denied canceling the shows himself. The shows were planned to take place in Krakow as part of his international tour.
in a Facebook Statement Addressed to the UK’s Guardian and Poland’s Gazeta Krakowska newspapers, Waters denied that he or his management had canceled the Poland shows. Instead, he blamed Lukasz Wantuch, a Krakow city councilor who wrote his own Facebook post on September 10 opposing Waters’s shows.
“It is true that a Krakow councilor, Mr. Łukasz Wantuch, has threatened to hold a meeting to ask the council to declare me ‘Persona non grata’ due to my public efforts to cheer up all those involved in the disastrous war in Ukraine, especially the US and Russian governments, to work toward a negotiated peace, rather than escalate matters to a bitter end that could be nuclear war and the end of all life on this planet,” Waters wrote in Facebook.
“Despite the fact that this guy Łukasz Wantuch seems to know nothing of my work history, all my life, at personal cost, in the service of human rights, he, in an article in a local newspaper, urged good people from Krakow not to buy tickets for my show,” added Waters.
He went on to say that if Wantuch “achieves his goal… it will be a sad loss for me” as well as for the residents of Krakow.
“Their draconian censorship of my work will deny them the opportunity to make their own decisions,” Waters concluded.
Wantuch’s post expressed opposition to Waters’ show, calling the musician “an outspoken supporter of Putin” and his planned performances in Kraków “an embarrassment to our city”.
“Roger Waters, an outspoken supporter of Putin, wants to play at the Tauron Arena in Krakow,” Wantuch wrote. “On Wednesday we have a session of the Krakow City Council and I will talk to the president and councilors to block this. Such an event would be an embarrassment to our city. Let him sing in Moscow.”
Wantuch responded to Waters’ statement on Sunday by writing that he was still in the Ukraine but would “have an offer” for Waters by tonight.
Earlier this year, Pink Floyd released their first new music in 28 years, a single called “Hey Hey Rise Up” to raise funds for humanitarian aid in Ukraine. Waters, who left the band in 1984, did not contribute to the song.
Nearly 6,000 civilians have been confirmed dead in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began. says the UN.