Roger Waters shows in Poland cancelled over Ukraine stance

A shot of Roger Waters performing live
(Image credit: Adam Berry\/Getty Images)

Roger Waters' two Polish shows on his upcoming This is Not A Drill European tour have been cancelled, with the BBC reporting that the former Pink Floyd man's stance on the current situation in Ukraine is the main reason. Waters was due to play a pair of shows in Krakow in April 2023.

In an open letter to Ukraine's first lady Olena Zelenska, Waters claims that "extreme nationalists" in Ukraine "have set your country on the path to this disastrous war", whist accusing her husband, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, of failing to fulfil his election campaign promises to bring peace to the Donbas region. Waters makes no mention of Russia's responsibility for the war.

In response, Mrs Zelenska tweeted that it was the Russian invasion of Ukraine that was destroying its cities and killing civilians, stating, "Roger Waters, you should ask for peace from the president of another country."

This in turn led Łukasz Wantuch, a Krakow city councillor, to urge people to boycott the two concerts scheduled for the city. City councillors drafted a resolution to declare Waters persona non grata, due to be voted on at a session on September 28. Poland have been staunch allies of Ukraine since the invasion began.

"Taking into account Russia's criminal attack on Ukraine as well as the increasing number of war crimes committed by Russian soldiers that are coming to light, [the councillors] express outrage at the theses and statements made by Mr Roger Waters in connection with Russia's invasion of Ukraine," the resolution states.

In response Waters posted, "Hey Łukasz Wantuch, Leave them kids alone", referencing the lyrics of Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall.

The concert's promoter, Live Nation Poland, gave no reason for the cancellation beyond confirmation it would not go ahead.

Last week Waters announced three UK shows as pat of the ongoing tour, which he has described, with tongue-in-cheek, as his "first farewell tour".

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock, as well as sleevenotes for many major record labels. He lives in North London and happily indulges a passion for AC/DC, Chelsea Football Club and Sydney Roosters.