Kraków venue, organisers cancel Roger Waters concert amid war comments

Jeffrey Arguedas/PAP/EPA

Concert organisation and promotion company Live Nation Polska and Tauron Arena Kraków have called off concerts by Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters amid a backlash over comments the artist made about the war in Ukraine.

Waters was scheduled to appear at the venue in the southern Polish city in April 2023, to the displeasure of some Kraków city councillors, who drafted a resolution of the city council branding the Pink Floyd frontman persona non grata in the southern Polish city.

According to media reports, Waters wrote an open letter to Ukraine's first lady, Olena Zelenska, earlier this month, in which he urged her to persuade her husband to "seek a different route" in order to "stop the slaughter" in their country.

He also criticised the West for supplying Ukraine with weapons and argued that the United States is interested in prolongation of the war.

In response, Zelenska wrote that it was Russia "that launched aggression against Ukraine. Ukrainians are protecting their country and the future of their children. If we give up the fight, we won't be there tomorrow. If the Russian Federation surrenders, the war will end."

Krakow councillors of the country's ruling Law and Justice party proposed a resolution, to be put to a vote on September 28, which in part says: "Mindful of Russia’s criminal attack on Ukraine and of the successive war crimes committed by Russian soldiers that come to light, Krakow councillors express their indignation concerning statements by Mr Roger Waters on the Russian invasion."

On Saturday, a Tauron Arena representative said the dates had been called off by Waters' manager with no reason being given, but a statement on the stadium's website on Sunday said that Live Nation Polska, the concert organiser, and Tauron arena had cancelled the dates.

Waters took to social media on Sunday to deny reports his manager had cancelled the two dates in April and to lambast Lukasz Wantuch, one of the councillors behind the resolution, for urging Krakovians to boycott the concerts.