Roger Waters will be playing Frankfurt, Germany after all this year. The former Pink Floyd vocalist had initially been scheduled to play a show in the German city on May 28, but the gig was soon canceled by authorities in the city who claimed the musician was “one of the most widely known antisemites in the world.” Waters vowed to fight the ban, and has now emerged victorious in his attempt to play the city.
According to The Guardian, the ruling came from Frankfurt’s administrative court, who declared that Waters has the right to go ahead with the event. In making the ruling, they noted that while aspects of his show are “tasteless” and utilize symbolism inspired by the Nazi regime, the musician’s artistic freedom was among the main reasons they agreed to let him play.
Among the initial complaints against Waters in Frankfurt and other German cities objecting to his concerts were previous tour usage of a balloon shaped like a pig depicting the Star of David amid other corporate logos. In Frankfurt in particular, there was also some unease about Waters performing at Festhalle, which in 1938 housed over 3,000 Jewish men from the city who were abused and later deported to concentration camps.
Despite these objections, the court ruled that the concert should be “viewed as a work of art,” and there were not sufficient grounds to ban Waters.
The most crucial point, according to the court, was that the musician’s performance “did not glorify or relativise the crimes of the Nazis or identify with Nazi racist ideology”, and nor was there any evidence that Waters used propaganda material in his show. “It is not for the court to pass judgment on this,” a spokesperson commented to the German media.
Though a ruling was issued, the city still has the right to appeal the decision.
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