Sunday, March 31, 2013

Kraftwerk: Robots v Communists

Kraftwerk had been due to play a festival in China...

Hang about, let's just pause there. China does full-on, three-day, Reading-Leeds style festivals these days. Remember when Wham! playing a gig there was a news item in itself?

So, Kraftwerk was supposed to be at this festival. But they've had their invitation withdrawn. Why?

Tibet. It's always Tibet. The Guardian reports:

According to reports in Beijing, the ministry of culture denied the German quartet a visa because they were scheduled to perform at a pro-Tibetan independence concert in 1999. In fact, Kraftwerk's performance at the Washington DC fundraiser was ultimately cancelled because of a lightning storm.
So what will the organisers do now?
The festival has replaced Kraftwerk with the British pop band Travis.
You see, China? Censorship only ends up hurting the censors.

And if you're thinking "blimey, swapping out Kraftwerk for Travis is a bit like replacing an iMac with a ten year-old Nokia phone", well... even the Chinese realise that:
"I can't say we are 100% confident with Travis as headliners," Zang Keyu, Modern Sky's director of performance and operations, told the state-run Global Times newspaper. "But it's a fact we have to accept."
I bet Zang Keyu is desperately combing online biographies of Fran Healy in the hope he might have called for independence for Macau.

[Thanks to Gary White for the tip]