Roger Waters issues defiant statement on Frankfurt concert ban: "We’re coming anyway! Because human rights matter! Because free speech matters!"

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters
(Image credit: Sergione Infuso/Corbis via Getty Images)

Roger Waters says he is still planning on performing in Frankfurt, despite his show there being cancelled by the city's council over claims of anti-Semitism.

The concert was set to take place at the Festhalle on May 28, as part of Waters' This Is Not a Drill tour, however was pulled over the former Pink Floyd frontman's alleged "persistent anti-Israel behaviour".

As the city council share a 60% ownership of the venue along with Hesse's state government, they sought legal permission to shut down the show while describing the musician as “one of the world’s most widely-known anti-Semites”.

In a statement released on Friday, February 24, under the heading, 'Frankfurt sets an example against anti-Semitism', the city flagged up the fact that Waters has "repeatedly called for a cultural boycott of Israel and drew comparisons to the apartheid regime in South Africa." It also referenced Waters' use of a pig-shaped balloon emblazoned with a Star of David and corporate logos on previous tours.

The statement additionally noted the historical significance of the venue, Festhalle, being the site where 3,000 Jewish men were held under arrest in 1938 ahead of their deportation to concentration camps following Kristallnacht, the violent anti-Jewish demonstrations which saw Nazis destroy Jewish-owned stores, buildings and synagogues.

Now however, Waters has declared that he is "coming anyway" to Frankfurt, in spite of the cancelled show, via an Instagram post showing a photo of the grave of Sophie Scholl, a German student and anti-Nazi activist who was beheaded by guillotine in 1943 for handing out anti-war leaflets around the University of Munich.

The musician revealed to have also filed an injunction against the council, although is yet to hear a response.

“Frankfurt Council were legally required to respond to Roger Waters [sic] interim injunction by midnight April 14,” Waters writes. “Did they? Nobody knows? We can only guess at what’s going on in Frankfurt? Are they playing for time? Who knows?

“Not that it matters much! We’re coming anyway! Because human rights matter! Because free speech matters! Yes!

“Frankfurt City Council, we remember Kristallnacht! Like Sophie Scholl our fathers stood with those three thousand Jewish men and today we stand with the Palestinians! We’re coming to Frankfurt on the 28th of May! [sic] Love, R.”

Last month, a petition was launched against Frankfurt City Council's show cancellation, and was signed by Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, Rage Against The Machine‘s Tom Morello, Brian Eno and Eric Clapton, among others.

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Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.