Pink Floyd Cover Band Cancels Israel Shows After Roger Waters Rebuke

UK Pink Floyd Experience was set to perform three shows, but original band member Waters and other pro-boycott activists led to cancellation

English singer/songwriter/bassist Roger Waters performs at the Sports Palace in Mexico City on November 28, 2018.
ALFREDO ESTRELLA / AFP

The Pink Floyd tribute band UK Pink Floyd Experience has cancelled its appearances in Israel after pressure by BDS activists, chief among them the musician Roger Waters, a member of the original Pink Floyd. The band was to have performed three concerts, in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Be’er Sheva, at the beginning of next month.

In a letter on his social media pages, Waters wrote: “I am aghast to see you have plans to perform in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Be’er Sheva on 4th, 5th, 6th January. Please don’t do it. To sing my songs in front of segregated audiences in Israel, and contribute to the cultural whitewashing of the racist and apartheid government of that country, would be an act of unconscionable malice and disrespect...

“Have you ever actually listened to the work that you perform to make a living? The people that you intend to entertain are executing their neighbor’s children, shooting them down in cold blood every day. In the name of everything that is human, please hear my call and cancel today.”

Waters added a photo to his post of an injured Palestinian child being treated by a Red Crescent medic.

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UK Pink Floyd Experience announced the cancellation on its Facebook page shortly after Waters’ letter was posted and proceeded to remove the planned concert dates from its website. Later, apparently due to a large number of responses, it removed its Facebook page entirely.

According to Egoist Productions, which was bringing the group to Israel, the band members – who have already performed in Israel, in 2017 – were under direct personal pressure from a large number of other activists.

In a statement, the company said: “Yesterday, Pink Floyd band member Roger Waters began an unprecedented PR campaign with the purpose of preventing the members of UK Pink Floyd Experience from coming to Israel for three concerts planned for early January. Despite attempts by Egoist Productions to oppose the move, we were unable to stop the flood, which reached its peak when the phone numbers of the band members were made public and they began to be harassed to the point where they had to disconnect their phones.”

Egoist added that despite this, it had continued all night after the band canceled to attempt to persuade them not to do so. “After the band announced the cancellation on its Facebook page, we saw responses by thousands of Israelis who expressed their opinion about the cancellation. The situation became so extreme that the band took down its Facebook page.”

However, the statement by Egoist continued, “over the past few hours, the band has asked to wait with an official answer, in an attempt to keep to the contract it signed, and to hold the concerts. We all hope that our efforts over the past 24 hours will be fruitful and the concerts will take place as planned.”