Roger Waters Still Headed to Germany Despite Concert Ban: “We’re Coming Anyway”

Roger Waters is still heading to Frankfurt, Germany on his This is Not A Drill Tour, despite local authorities attempt to ban his concert on May 28.

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The City of Frankfurt previously cancelled Waters’ upcoming show at the Festhalle concert hall and cited Waters as “one of the world’s most well-known antisemites” as the reason for the cancellation. Waters called the accusations “unjustifiable” and began fighting the cancellation with his lawyers.

“Not that it matters much,” said Waters in a statement about his intent to still go to Frankfurt. “We’re coming anyway, because human rights matter. Because free speech matters.”

In support of Waters, Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, Eric Clapton, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, and actress Susan Sarandon, among nearly 35,000 others have signed a petition to have the decision to cancel his concert overruled.

The city council referenced Waters’ previous antisemitic behavior and activity, including his boycott of Israel and his comparisons of Israel to apartheid South Africa. They also cited his self-declared ties with the Islamist militant group Hamas and his use of a pig-shaped balloon showing the Star of David on previous tours. In a recent interview, Waters stood by his comparison of Israel to Nazi Germany and accused Israel of committing genocide. 

The historical significance of the Festhalle concert hall also played a role in the decision by the city council since the venue was once used for the internment of 3,000 Jewish men who were arrested during Kristallnacht in 1938. On November 9 and 10, 1938, which became known as Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass), Nazis destroyed Jewish-owned businesses, homes, and synagogues.

In his statement, Waters also referenced the Nazi attacks on Jews at Kristallnacht. “We remember Kristallnacht. Like Sophie Scholl, our fathers stood with those 3,000 Jewish men, and today we stand with the Palestinians,” wrote Waters. “We’re coming to Frankfurt on the 28th of May.”

The cancellation comes several months after Polly Samson, wife of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, also called Waters “antisemitic” and a “Putin apologist.” Soon after, Gilmour retweeted her post and stated “Every word demonstrably true.”

Waters’ Frankfurt show is part of the European leg of his This Is Not a Drill Tour. He is still scheduled to play five shows in Germany, including dates in Munich, Cologne, and Hamburg, in addition to two nights in Berlin.

Earlier in 2023, Waters also revealed that he re-recorded Pink Floyd‘s classic 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon without his remaining band members. In 2022, Waters also released a more somber version of Pink Floyd’s iconic The Wall track “Comfortably Numb.”

During the pandemic, Waters began revisiting and remixing a number of Pink Floyd classics, along with some of his solo songs and continued recording a number of other tracks, including his new version of “Comfortably Numb 2022,” which he worked on during the U.S. leg of his This Is Not A Drill Tour.

Photo by Brian Lima / Rogers and Cowan

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