FILE PHOTO: 2017 Teen Choice Awards – Arrivals – Los Angeles, California, U.S., 13/08/2017 - Singer Louis Tomlinson. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo
March 1, 2022
LONDON (Reuters) – British singers Louis Tomlinson and Yungblud as well as the band Franz Ferdinand have cancelled upcoming performances in Russia in light of the Russia-Ukraine war, following in the footsteps of other music acts to do so.
Taking to Twitter on Tuesday, Scottish indie rockers Franz Ferdinand said they were pulling Russian gigs scheduled for the summer, adding “the only reason for this is the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian state.”
“We love Russia. This great country has inspired our band through its art and literature and since we first played there seventeen years ago, we have built a rich and deep relationship with our Russian fans,” the band said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin launched what he called “a special military operation” last Thursday.
“We have spoken to many of our friends in Russia via social media and have encountered unanimous opposition to this violence and solidarity with our Ukrainian friends,” the band said.
“We know you see the madness of your country’s leadership. We know you do not want war. We do not want war.”
Tomlinson, a former member of boy band One Direction, said late on Monday that he was cancelling tour shows in Moscow and Kyiv.
“The safety of my fans is my priority and my thoughts go out to the people of Ukraine and all those suffering from this needless war,” he wrote on Twitter.
Announcing he had cancelled his Russia shows, Yungblud said he was “heartbroken” to do so over Moscow’s assault on its neighbour, the biggest attack on a European state since World War Two.
“Everyone deserves to be the creator of their own destiny, rather than having it forced upon them by acts of war and aggression,” he wrote on Twitter.
Other acts to pull Russian gigs in the last few days include U.S. rock bands Green Day and Health and indie pop trio AJR.
“Though we do not wish to penalise our fans for governmental decisions that are beyond their control, given the current state of affairs we will no longer be performing our previously scheduled shows in St Petersburg and Moscow,” Health wrote on Twitter on Monday.
“Our thoughts go out to the people of Ukraine.”
(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)