China Bans Kraftwerk Over Something They Almost Did 15 Years Ago Because China DGAFBy Sasha Hecht
In today's "Really? Seriously?" news, China has banned Kraftwerk from setting foot in their country over a 1998 Free Tibet concert the band never actually played.
China's leading music events promoter Modern Sky recently applied to the Ministry of Culture in an effort to bring the electro-krautrock maestros to their annual Strawberry Festival in Beijing, but their request was struck down by the Ministry, who cited that Kraftwerk had participated in a "Free Tibet" benefit show in Washington DC 15 years ago and are therefore unwelcome in the Middle Kingdom, presumably for the rest of their lives.
Harsh, yes, but this is China, and far from the first time they've blacklisted a band for publicly supporting Tibetan independence; Chinese Oasis and Björk fans won't be catching their favorite artists on tour anytime soon. But what's particularly head-scratching about this instance of China flexing their grudge muscles is that they're persecuting a group of people for something they never even did. The concert that landed the Kraftwerk fellas on China's naughty list in indelible ink? The German foursome never even showed—they pulled out at the last minute due to bad weather. So basically, China is operating on some kind of a Minority Report-esque "PreCrime" system, which is pretty unfair (unless they've already developed that technology, which I wouldn't doubt).
In lieu of Kraftwerk, the show must and will go on with "post-Britpop" band Travis slotted into the festival headliner position. But to the Ministry of Culture and the Chinese government, I have this to say:
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