4 Artists/Bands that Were Banned from Touring Europe

While touring the world is often an essential part about being a musician, sometimes some places are simply off limits. Whether for political reasons, past mistakes, or some misunderstanding, there is a history of certain artists and bands who have been prohibited from entering certain countries to share their songs and stage performance.

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Here below, we will dive into a list of four such groups that have been barred from entering various European countries. These are four of some of the biggest names in the history of popular music and even they were given the ol’ heave-ho.

[RELATED: 4 Bands/Artists Who Were Banned from Touring the U.S.

The Beatles (from Israel)

For anyone who has tracked the history of The Beatles, one thing is clear: The masses went mad for the former Mop Tops. When the group arrived in the United States in 1964, heads nearly exploded from the screaming fans. In fact, touring got so crazy the group just stopped doing it after 1966, four years before they broke up. And it’s because of this crazed behavior from fans that the Israeli government banned the band from coming into its country in 1964.

A year before that, pop star Cliff Richard had come in and caused an uproar, so Israel didn’t want to deal with any more hysteria. The country’s official resolution read, “Resolved: Not to allow the request for fear that the performances by the Beatles are liable to have a negative influence on the [country’s] youth.” It was only in 2008 when Ron Prosor, the Israeli ambassador to Britain, gave a letter of apology to John Lennon’s sister Julia Baird that expressed remorse for not letting The Beatles perform.

Fred Durst (from Ukraine)

In 2015, Fred Durst, the guy known for wearing a backwards red baseball cap and singing about “Nookie,” openly talked about moving to the city of Crimea. His wife, after all, is from the area. He talked about wanting to get a Russian passport and even wrote a letter saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin was “a great guy with clear moral principles and a nice person.” That led to a five-year ban by the Security Service of Ukraine, citing “the interests of guaranteeing the security of our state,” and alleging Durst was involved in pro-Russian propaganda. Not a great move by Durst.

Chris Brown (from the United Kingdom)

Chris Brown can’t seem to stop the violence. The pop singer who famously assaulted Rihanna has more recently gotten himself in trouble in the United Kingdom for other assault accusations. In February 2023, Brown was questioned by British authorities regarding an assault on a London music producer. Brown was accused of smashing a bottle over the man’s head in a nightclub. Now, Brown could face arrest if comes back to the country. And all this happened in the wake of a prior banishment of Brown by the UK after he assaulted Rihanna. He was allowed back into the country in 2020 but that seems to be changed again.

Tyler, The Creator (from the United Kingdom)

In 2015, music star Tyler, The Creator was barred from the United Kingdom for “inciting terrorism.” But that sounds worse than it really is, as the matter had to do with lyrics in a few 2009 songs. Wrote Tyler on Twitter when the ban came down, “Based on lyrics from 2009, I am not allowed in the UK for three-five years (although I was there eight weeks ago). That is why the shows [that had been scheduled in the UK and Ireland] were cancelled.” Responded officials to that Tweet, “Coming to the UK is a privilege, and we expect those who come here to respect our shared values.”

In a blog post, Tyler’s manager Christian Clancy added, “Tyler has been banned from entering the UK for somewhere between three to five years per a letter from the secretary of state for the home department of the United Kingdom. The letter specifically cites lyrics he wrote six to seven years ago for his albums Bastard and Goblin the type of lyrics he hasn’t written since.” Four years later, though, in 2019, he was allowed back in to perform again.

Tyler also had issues with planned dates in Australia when thousands of people signed a petition in 2013 asking for his visa to be revoked, claiming his lyrics supported violence towards women. That resulted in his string of shows getting cancelled too.

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