A 15 year-old non-appearance at a Free Tibet show is enough to make Kraftwerk persona non-grata in China apparently.

Back in 1998, the German band were supposed to play a Free Tibet show in Washington, DC. They wound up pulling out due to bad weather.

When Chinese record company/promoter Modern Sky tried to get the band to play this year’s Strawberry Festival, the Chinese Ministry of Culture denied the band a visa, citing their 15 year-old, weather-dependent commitment to a free Tibet. Via AFP:

But a source at the firm, asking for anonymity for fear of reprisals, said: “Kraftwerk were not allowed to play… because they participated in a Free Tibet concert.

“We had already arranged the show, it’s a pity they can’t come, it’s a great shame.”

Kraftwerk achieved fame in the 1970s as pioneers of electronic pop music and were scheduled to appear at a high-profile “Free Tibet” concert in Washington DC in 1998. The band pulled out after the show was afflicted by bad weather.

China’s culture ministry has a long-standing policy of refusing permission to acts who have voiced support for Tibetan independence, several sources with knowledge of the matter told AFP.

Ministry of Culture officials refused to comment.

British band Travis are scheduled to headline the festival.

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