Munich: Mayor Reiter wants to throw Roger Waters out of Olympic hall – Munich

The Olympiapark München Gesellschaft (OMG) is coming under increasing pressure due to Roger Waters’ planned concert on May 21, 2023 in the Olympiahalle. “It really annoys me,” Mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD) said that the city’s subsidiary had this concert take place on city land. “I didn’t know about it.” This is particularly explosive, because before and after the last concert of Pink Floyd– Co-founder Waters in the Olympic Hall, the mayor and the musician had come to blows.

Waters is no longer welcome because of his identification with the at least partially anti-Semitic Israeli boycott movement BDS, Reiter said in the summer of 2018. A clear veto against further concerts at the city’s Olympiahalle. Mayor Verena Dietl (SPD) was annoyed at the end of last week that the supervisory board of OMG was not involved in Waters’ concert.

The Bavarian state government’s anti-Semitism commissioner, Ludwig Spaenle (CSU), called for the concert to be canceled if Waters did not distance himself from the BDS movement. Criticism of the concrete policies of the Israeli government is legitimate, but denying the right to exist of the State of Israel, as practiced by the BDS movement, is unacceptable.

“Roger Waters plays the keyboard of anti-Semitic stereotypes again and again – also in the context of his concerts,” said Miriam Heigl, head of the Democracy Department of the City of Munich. Waters recently spoke about the war in Ukraine. “His statements about the Russian war of aggression are riddled with conspiracy myths,” Heigl continued. Her conclusion “This is technically unbearable on an urban stage.”

The OMG explained that due to a federal administrative court ruling against the city of Munich, they saw no way to deny Waters a contract for the requested concert at the Olympiahalle. The city decided in December 2017 to no longer rent out its own space to the BDS movement or to its loved ones. She failed in court. That’s why you had to sign the contract with Waters, the OMG explained.

Those responsible reject the fact that they have circumvented the city government. One believes “very well that we have coordinated with the responsible authorities,” a spokesperson said. “There is corresponding correspondence proving it.” The economics department, to which the municipal subsidiary reports, as well as the Democracy Specialized Bureau, have only confirmed that they have dealt with the BDS issue in general, but not with the specific Waters concert in May 2023.

As early as 2019, the year after Waters’ last concert, the board of trustees was concerned with how to deal with artists whose political stance was racist, anti-Semitic or anti-democratic, the OMG spokesperson said. At the time, it was “concluded that the committee could not make recommendations and that the OMG should refer to the lawyers’ assessments”.

Still, the OMG has to deal with Waters again. Mayor Reiter wants to try to maintain his veto by taking into account recent political statements about the war in Ukraine: by Russia, just ask Olympiapark GmbH to double check whether this concert is actually supposed to take place.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *