Friday, March 29, 2013

Kraftwerk's China 'Ban'

Kia Makarechi/Huffington Post

Electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk were refused visas by China. The band was set to perform at next month's Strawberry Festival in Beijing, but the AFP reports that those plans were foiled by something Kraftwerk did 15 years ago.

The Chinese music company that applied for the visas told the AFP the government denied them on account of a Tibetan Freedom concert at which Kraftwerk was scheduled to perform. The 1998 concert in Washington D.C. didn't even actually feature the German outfit -- bad weather caused them to scrap their show. (Sidebar: The ill-fated event was described by Rolling Stone as "ultimately disappointing" andmultiple audience members were injured by lightning storms.)

China's government has as history of denying visas to performers who have supported Tibetan independences, sources told the AFP. State-run media outlets reported that Kraftwerk would no longer perform, but only cited "political reasons" to explain the change of plans.

Performers have also had problems getting visas to perform in the United States. French techno producer and house DJ Laurent Garnier infamously had to cancel a 2005 tour after changing application demands made his trip nearly impossible. Amy Winehouse missed the 2008 Grammys because the United States initially denied her visa for the trip (they later approved her appeal, but it was too late). M.I.A. and Lily Allen have had similar issues in the past.

Kraftwerk returned with a triumphant eight-night run at New York's Museum of Modern Art last April, and have booked a number of festival appearances since.

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